Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd to boot out failed Ten Hag signing as Ratcliffe opens transfer talks for top Brazilian upgrade

Atalanta midfielder Ederson is a target for Manchester United

Atalanta midfielder Ederson is a target for Manchester United

Manchester United are reported to have opened talks with Atalanta over a deal to sign top midfielder Ederson – with Sir Jim Ratcliffe identifying the Brazilian midfielder as a major upgrade for one of Erik ten Hag’s strugglers.

The Red Devils have endured a hugely-underwhelming season so far and can only salvage their campaign with success in the FA Cup and, at the absolute minimum, by claiming a top-four finish. However, after a woeful 14 losses from their 31 games played so far, a major improvement will be required over the second half of the season for Manchester United.

Thankfully, the club are ready to usher in what many fans will hope is a bright new era, with British businessman Ratcliffe now just days away from having his 25% purchase of the club from the Glazers ratified by those in authority.

And with the 71-year-old set to take all sporting control at Old Trafford, including the overseeing of all the club’s transfers both in and out of Old Trafford.

To that end, and behind the scenes, Ratcliffe is reported to have been hugely critical of the United approach to transfers that has seen the club waste millions on big-name, but ageing players seen as being in the autumn of their careers. And to flick the switch, it’s reported the British billionaire will instead target some of the game’s upcoming younger stars in an attempt to ensure their best years are spent at United.

Having seen that policy work wonders at both Liverpool and Arsenal over the past decade, Ratcliffe is convinced that is the right way forward for the Red Devils.

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Man Utd open talks to sign Atalanta midfielder Ederson

Sadly, that will unlikely mean any signings are made this month, with United having to be careful with their spending and very much wary, like so many of their Premier League rivals, about the dangers of FFP.

That said, United are very muchy gearing up for a big summer, with significant funds set to be provided to transform the United squad.

Indeed, Ratcliffe is desperate to solidify the club’s spine, making clear his wish to sign a new defender, midfielder and striker.

To that end, talks over a new striker are already reportedly underway, with a well-respected journalist on Tuesday revealing United were in talks over a summer move for top Bologna frontman Joshua Zirkzee.

Zirkzee is regarded as one of the best young atacking talents in the Italian game, so his profile certainly fits the bill.

However, reports in Brazil claim the Netherlands Under-21 international will not be United’s only raid on Serie A this summer with talks also underway over a deal to bring in Atalanta’s tigerish midfielder Ederson.

The 24-year-old has been a key performer in the engine room for Gian Piero Gasperini’s side, who are currently sat fourth in Serie A.

Since signing from Salernitana in summer 2022, Ederson has established himself as one of the top midfielders in the league, with his all-action displays and tireless running.

Now Goal Brasil claims United have made enquiries over a potential deal, though have been told they will have to wait until the summer before official negotiations can begin.

And they claim that is no concern for United who, with their hands tied right now, would be willing to wait for the player.

Ederson signing to spell end for failed Ten Hag signing

Ederson, who can operate both as a defensive midfieder (a No 6) or in central midfield (a No 8) has impressed this season by scoring six goals and adding one assist for the Bergamo-based side.

But it is his work in protecting the defence that has also caught the eye, with Ederson also winning 2.6 tackles and 5.4 duels per game – numbers that rank among the highest for midfielders in Europe this season.

Indeed, United are not the only Premier League side to have targeted a move for the player; he has also been strongly linked with Liverpool, Tottenham and Newcastle in recent weeks, who have all sent scouts to check on his progress.

Atalanta are reportedly not willing to discuss his sale for penny less than €40m (£34.2m), though that price appears within United’s budget, who do still have an option on loanee Sofyan Amrabat.

The Moroccan moved to Old Trafford on a €10m (£8.5m) loan deal from Fiorentina over the summer, with United holding an option worth €20m (£17m) to make the move permanent.

However, Amrabat has struggled to find his best form for United and coaches at the club are reported to have expressed concerns that Amrabat does not have the necessary qualities to succeed in the Premier League.

As a result, United appear highly unlikely to take up that option to make the 27-year-old’s move permanent and will instead use the €20m saved towards the signing of Ederson instead.

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