Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd move to sign £50m Prem star explodes into life with Ratcliffe willing to push costly Ten Hag signing out

Crystal Palace star Michael Olise is a target for Manchester United

Crystal Palace star Michael Olise is a target for Manchester United

Manchester United are ready to throw everything they have into the summer signing of Michael Olise with a top source revealing the Crystal Palace star is a ‘categorical and endorsed’ target of Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who could look to finance a deal by ushering a big-name star out of Old Trafford.

The Red Devils are back on course in the race for a top-four finish after going through 2024 unbeaten so far in a run that has helped them move just five points adrift of fourth-placed Aston Villa. And with Unai Emery’s side, as well as Tottenham, the teams to catch, hope is growing that their continued good run can help Manchester United close that gap further.

Off the field, United are also getting their house in order too; not least through the organisation and professionalism already brought to the club by Ratcliffe.

The British billionaire has his feet firmly under the table at Old Trafford despite not seeing the ink yet officially dried on his £1.4bn investment into the Red Devils.

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Nonetheless, with that arrangement now just days away from being officially confirmed, plans are already well in place to establish United as leaders both on and off the field.

To aid their chances in both criteria, Ratcliffe is embarking on a wholesale change behind the scenes with Omar Berrada already poached from Manchester City as CEO and Dan Ashworth soon set to follow from Newcastle. The 52-year-old is regarded as one of the most-respected names in the British game when it comes to transfers, with the role as United’s first-ever sporting director awaiting him.

Man Utd push hard to sign Michael Olise

His remit will be to identify and help sign some of the world’s best talents and help negotiate the best possible prices on such targets.

And while the club have money to spend, the club are still working on that list of targets of whom to target.

To that end, it’s reported Ratcliffe wants to strengthen United’s spine with a defender, midfielder and a striker all targeted.

Two of those possible targets were identified in Euro Paper Talk with possible deals for Milan’s Tijjani Reijnders and Brian Brobbey of Ajax both touted for summer deals.

However, there is also a school of thought that claims United want to sign a new winger too, especially with Jadon Sancho and Facundo Pellistri both currently out on loan and seemingly having no future at the club.

Now, according to journalist Ben Jacobs, United very much have a deal for Olise in in their sights with Ratcliffe determined to push through the signing of the Crystal Palace star.

The France U21 international signed a new deal with the Eagles last year with an exit clause thought to be set at £50m – and that gives United a genuine chance of a deal.

Jacobs told Givemesport: “The only, as far as I’m aware, categorical and endorsed target, if you’d like, for the summer from the current regime and the new Ratcliffe-led ownership, is Michael Olise at Crystal Palace.

“Everything else is up in the air. So INEOS are thinking more about broad positions, and the striker is one of them, for example, and they’re looking at outgoings, which may help fund the window.

“And then from there, once the new recruitment team is built, we’ll start to work out which ones of these other links are concrete.”

Olise deal could spell the end for troubled Man Utd star

With Olise confirmed as a firm target for United, it would take a brave man to suggest that deal will not go through if United do push for it to happen.

But as Jacobs touched upon, much of United’s business this summer will also depend on who is shipped out by the club.

One man whose future has been very much called into question – and who could find himself ousted out were Olise to sign – is Brazilian winger Antony.

The former Ajax man is one of United’s most costly-ever signings having been brought in for a whopping £85m fee from the Dutch side in summer 2022.

While he showed flashes of his skillset in that first season, his form has dropped off a cliff this season. And while personal issues have certainly not helped matters, two goal involvements from 25 appearances is a really poor return.

It’s been suggested that Ratcliffe is keen to move the Brazilian on  – and is prepared to take a significant hit on the club’s original investment.

Whether United find a buyer or not for the 23-year-old remains to be seen, though it’s reported Ratcliffe will double his efforts to move him on if a deal for Olise is concluded.

Antony is contracted to United until 2027, with the club holding an option for an additional year. The 16-times capped Brazil international has so far scored nine times in 69 appearances for the Red Devils.

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