Manchester United are set to announce that Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s bid to take control of the club has been successful – and Erik ten Hag can launch the new era at the club by making four quality signings, including an impressive double striker deal.
The Red Devils have been up for sale since November when the unpopular Glazers announced their intentions to cash in. But settling on the preferred buyer for the famous old club has proved a long and laboured process.
To that end, the Glazers, who have owned United since 2005, have seemingly been to squeeze as much money as they can from the sale. And with Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim emerging as the two main candidates, it appears the two groups have been somewhat played off against one another.
To that end, Sheikh Jassim’s Qatari party have seemingly made five offers in order to gain control. Their most recent bid, said to be worth £6bn also promises to wipe out the club’s £500m debts. At the same time, the Qataris plan to significantly invest in the squad and further redevelop Old Trafford.
Standing in his way though has been Ratcliffe and INEOS, with their proposal seemingly worth £5.5bn. And while not offering the same depth of wealth as Sheikh Jassim, the promise to flourish Joel and Avram Glazer with £1bn apiece, as well as keeping them as 20% minority shareholders always seemed a strong play.
Man Utd takeover: Ratcliffe to be named preferred bidder
Now according to Daily Mirror, Ratcliffe’s INEOS party are finally set to gain control.
An announcement that they are officially selected as the preffered bidders by the Raine Group, who are handling the takeover, is reportedly due imminently. That will very quickly then see the issue progress with the full takeover likely to be finalised before the end of June.
However, Ratcliffe’s attempts to gain control appear to have been undermined by something of a smear campaign in the media. To that end, a legendary former Arsenal star has been among those to express their anger at INEOS.
Nonetheless, Ratcliffe is seemingly prepared to put his money where his mouth is. As well as sanctioning the £5.5bn takeover, significant funds are also being provided to Ten Hag for team strengthening.
The club already had a sizeable transfer kitty at their disposal; a warchest boosted by their qualification for next season’s Champions League.
Furthermore, player sales were also likely to further boost that tally too with as many as nine players leaving United this summer.
Now with Ratcliffe’s takeover set to be confirmed, Ten Hag can take his summer transfer plans to the next level.
Indeed, two of the club’s planned summer signings have already been pencilled in. To that end, deals for Kim Min-jae and Mason Mount are likely to be finalised on July 1.
United are paying £52m for Kim after agreeing to meet the South Korean’s exit clause. A final fee for Mount is yet to be agreed. However, the player has reportedly agreed to the move and settling on a final fee is not expected to be an issue.
With those deals closing in, United are now turning their focus to the attack. And it seems that a double striker coup will be next on the cards.
Ten Hag chasing double striker deal for Man Utd
First up, United’s interest in signing Rasmus Hojlund has been well reported.
The Atalanta striker, 20, has been compared by some to Erling Haaland due to his Viking-esque stature.
And with Ten Hag already holding talks with the player over the switch, United now appear ready to push through his £40m signing.
With Wout Weghorst and Anthony Martial leaving, the Dane will not be the only striker through the door.
Indeed, The Athletic now reports United are also in talks over the signing of Randal Kolo Muani.
The France striker has enjoyed an outstanding season with Eintracht Frankfurt, scoring 23 times and adding an impressive 23 assists. Those 46 goal involvements from 45 appearances means Kolo Muani will come with a premium fee to boot.
However, director of football John Murtough is reportedly leading a delegation looking to finalise his signing.
Per reports, Frankfurt will seek around €100m (£86m) for the striker with the Bundesliga club under no pressure to sell. Indeed, Evan Ndicka and Daicha Kamada are both leaving Die Adler as free agents this summer. As a result, Frankfurt intend to stand their ground on their Kolo Muani valuation. To that end, they are reportedly refusing to be drawn into negotiations.
Nonetheless, Ten Hag is reportedly keen on his signing. And the feeling within United is that Kolo Muani will be easier to sign than Harry Kane or Victor Osimhen.
As a result, Ten Hag hopes all four signings will be in place before a return to pre-season training on July 8.
By then, the shape of both the playing squad and the club’s ownership could have a very different look to what it does right now.