Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd to exploit clever clause to sign Italy attacker with Ratcliffe ‘in love’ with €15m star

Sir Jim Ratcliffe is looking at a deal to bring Simone Pafundi to Manchester United this summer

Sir Jim Ratcliffe is looking at a deal to bring Simone Pafundi to Manchester United this summer

Sir Jim Ratcliffe is reportedly putting plans in place to bring Simone Pafundi to Manchester United – and can raid another club in the INEOS stable to sign the Italy international forward for a bargain fee.

The British billionaire invested some £1.3bn acquiring a 27.7% stake in the Red Devils earlier this year, fulfilling a long-term dream of owning  – or part-owning at least – the club he supported as a boy. However, the 71-year-old has stepped into a club in something of a state of disarray with a host of issues needing to be fixed to ensure Manchester United return to greatness once again.

And he will hope that the only way is up for a team currently performing way below expectation levels and in danger of recording their lowest-ever points tally in the Premier League era, where they are locked in a battle with Chelsea to finish seventh in the Premier League.

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Clearly that’s not where Ratcliffe sees United as being and, with that in mind, he has very quickly begun assembling a crack backroom team to ensure the Red Devils give themselves the best chance possible to close that gap on the leading teams in the Premier League and Europe.

And while director Jean-Claude Blanc and Jason Wilcox as technical director have recently taken up roles at Old Trafford, the summer appointments of Omar Berrada as CEO and Dan Ashworth as the club’s sporting director lay hope of an even brighter future ahead.

However, it is the potential re-shaping of the United playing squad that will most excite supporters with plans in place to freshen up what has become a tired and stale looking squad over the next few window.

Ratcliffe keen to bring in talented Italy forward to Man Utd

To kick things off, it’s claimed four stars have already been told they will be shown the door by Ratcliffe this summer.

And with the quartet set to boost United’s income due to the hefty savings on wages, that money will be reinvested into the side as Ratcliffe charges Ashworth with finding the players who can help make the club significantly more competitive next season.

However, the British billionaire has made a point of stressing that, rather than signing already-established big-name stars – having privately warned the club their days of spending big on the likes of Casemiro and Raphael Varane are over – Ratcliffe is taking a more measured approach going forwards.

With that in mind, he wants the club to instead bring in a core of young players on their way up and whom can become the next generation of superstars themselves.

As a result, reports in Italy claim the Ratcliffe is planning to exploit a clever clause to bring in Italian forward Pafundi, who at just 18 years of age, fits perfectly into his new transfer mantra.

The forward has already earned himself a senior Italy cap, debuting as a substitute back in November 2022 in a clash against Albania when still only 16 years of age and entering the record books as their third youngest international of all time.

Clever clause to aid Man Utd transfer

Owned by Udinese, Pafundi moved on loan to Lausanne-Sport last summer with the deal containing an option to make the move permanent for just €15m.

And according to Tuttomercatoweb, the Swiss club are ready to trigger that deal, but could look to move the player on in a deal that could ultimately see Pafundi wind up at Manchester United.

Indeed, with INEOS owning both sides it’s suggested Ratcliffe could look to maximise that relationship by securing the forward a future move to Old Trafford.

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And while it does not state if the move will happen this summer or later in the future, Pafundi is a player that Ratcliffe is said to be very much in love with and someone whom he sees as having a big future in the game.

By keeping the 5ft 5in star in the INEOS stable, Ratcliffe knows he will have a clear path towards the signing of Pafundi for the Red Devils at a time of his choosing and potentially saving the club a hefty wedge of cash in the transfer market in the process.

Despite the links with United it would seem unlikely that Pafundi would make the move this summer. Instead, the player will remain in Switzerland to continue his development and, should his rapid ascent continue, then a future move to Old Trafford could well be on the cards.