Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd launch ‘crazy bid’ for 164-goal Premier League star as Ratcliffe elbows Arsenal, Chelsea aside

Manchester United have reportedly launched an opening offer to sign Brentford striker Ivan Toney

Manchester United are focused on a deal to sign Brentford striker Ivan Toney

Manchester United have moved quickly to launch a huge opening offer to buy Ivan Toney after Sir Jim Ratcliffe made the Brentford and England striker his priority summer signing, according to a report.

The Red Devils have stuttered and stumbled their way through the 2023/24 campaign and need a win at Brighton on Sunday if they are to secure any form of European football at Old Trafford next season and at the same time avoid the ignominy of their lowest ever points tally recorded in the Premier League era.

As it stands, Manchester United are currently on 57 points and, due to an embarrassing negative goal difference, this season is shaping up to be their worst on record since finishing 13th in the old First Division in 1989/90.

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Incredibly they can still salvage some silverware from this disaster of a campaign, though few would give them much hope of claiming a win against Manchester City at Wembley next weekend in the FA Cup final. Victory for the Cityzens would also see Pep Guardiola and Co win a double Double.

However, with Erik ten Hag under intense pressure, it’s suggested the Dutchman will lose his job at the season’s end – regardless of how they fare in the cup final.

To that end, Fabrizio Romano has opened the doors for the possible appointment of Thomas Tuchel following his departure from Bayern Munich and having also explained the factors behind his departure from the German giants.

Man Utd launch huge opening offer for Ivan Toney

Regardless of whether Ten Hag stays or leaves, new minority shareholder Ratcliffe has moved the transfer authority away from the manager’s hands – whomever that may be – and into the hands of a crack team of specialists headed up by sporting director Dan Ashworth and ably assisted by Jason Wilcox (technical director) and Omar Berrada (chief executive).

And TEAMtalk understands that Ratcliffe and Co have set their eyes on strengthening four areas of the side this summer, with the spine of their side – a new centre-half, a midfielder and a striker – together with a new right-winger – all in their sights.

United’s need for a new No 9 has been very apparent this season. While £72m man Rasmus Hojlund has done well in flashes  – and his tally of 15 goals from 41 appearances represents a season of real promise – there have been times when he has clearly needed some support and being taken out the firing line.

At just 21 years of age, the young Dane is still very much a novice in the game.

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And with the club also only managing a disappointing 55 goals from their 37 games (by contrast Man City have blasted in 93 in the same amount of matches) it is all too apparent at where United’s weakness lies.

As a result, Ratcliffe is very much focused on signing a new No 9 to offer cover and competition for Hojlund.

Now according to a report in Spain, United have launched a mammoth opening offer to prise Toney away from Brentford with Ratcliffe ‘ready to surprise the football world’ by making a ‘crazy first bid’ for a player now regarded as their ‘priority’ striker target this summer.

The report claims Man Utd are ‘willing to make a significant investment to secure the services of the talented English striker’ and have ‘presented an initial offer close to €70m [£60m] to Brentford’.

Arsenal and Chelsea advised to move for England striker

The 28-year-old striker has just a year left on his deal at the Gtech Community Stadium so the Bees fully expect their star man – who has scored an impressive 164 career goals in 407 games – to depart this summer.

However, by the same token, it seems the London side are not prepared to accept the first offer that comes their way for a player, who has also attracted strong interest from both Arsenal and Chelsea over the past year.

To that end, United’s ‘first offer could be rejected by Brentford due to the discrepancy in the player’s value’, while it’s also suggested Man Utd could ‘have to look for other forms of negotiation to reduce the cost’.

That could yet involve a player exchange deal with a return to Brentford for Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen – possibly as part of a swap deal – not ruled out.

The Red Devils and Brentford are though  ‘expected to continue talking in search of an agreement that satisfies both parties’ and ‘allows’ the striker to make the move to Old Trafford and with Ratcliffe determined to beat his fellow suitors to his signature.

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Despite the interest from the Red Devils, former Liverpool man John Barnes has advised the two-cap England striker to move instead to Arsenal or Chelsea.

Barnes said: “I think Arsenal or Chelsea would be the best move for Toney. Arsenal and Chelsea are the two sides most in need of a centre forward so they’ll be the best for him.

“Kai Havertz and [Gabriel] Jesus have chipped in with goals but long term they will want a number nine. I think Ivan Toney would be perfect for Arsenal this summer even though Havertz has done so well to adapt to life at Arsenal.

“Jesus can still be a valuable member of the Arsenal squad if they bring in a nine because he can be a backup striker or play out wide.”