Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Ratcliffe, Ashworth agree on next seven Man Utd transfers as first two deals cruise towards completion

Manchester United minority shareholder Sir Jim Ratcliffe and sporting director Dan Ashworth

Manchester United minority shareholder Sir Jim Ratcliffe and sporting director Dan Ashworth

Manchester United will rapidly up the ante in the transfer market over the next seven to 10 days with the club expected to make the signing of Joshua Zirkzee their first of a hugely-productive summer, but with Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Dan Ashworth also agreeing on six more deals.

The Red Devils suffered an indifferent 2023/24 campaign, crashing and burning in the Champions League, before finishing in the unacceptably-low position of eighth in the Premier League. However, they did salvage some very sizeable wreckage from their season by winning the FA Cup, with the victory at Wembley effectively sparing Erik ten Hag from the Manchester United sack.

With Ten Hag also assembling a crack team of specialists behind the scenes, including sporting director Ashworth, the club will now set about seriously strengthening their squad in what could prove the most transformative of summers for the north-west giants.

Ratcliffe has already shown he is not afraid of tough decisions, opting against renewing the contract of £340,000 a week defender Raphael Varane, while also showing a willingness to bid farewell to other high-earning, yet under-performing stars.

However, it is the new arrivals coming into the club which will most get their supporters purring. And TEAMtalk understands that, between Ratcliffe and Ashworth, they hope to make four to five sizeable signings over the course of the summer, with one, possibly two centre-halves wanted, a new midfielder, a right-sided attacker and a striker all on their wishlist.

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Of course, money will be at United’s disposal but in these days of strict Profit and Sustainability Rulings, United will also need to keep a lid on incomings by balancing it out with some sizeable outgoings too.

Man Utd transfers: De Ligt and Zirkzee deals closing in

To kick things off, United are working relentlessly behind the scenes to bring in two Dutch stars in defender Matthijs De Ligt and striker Joshua Zirkzee.

Finalising both transfers has had to wait until the Netherlands’ involvement at Euro 2024, with the competition coming to an end in six days time, one way or another. Ronald Koeman’s side face a semi-final showdown with England in Dortmund on Wednesday night.

The good news for United, though, is that both players have agreed to the moves.

In the case of De Ligt, United still have to agree on terms with Bayern Munich. But with the Germans likely to accept a fee in the region of €60m (£50.7m), striking a deal is not expected to be difficult. De Ligt, whose move to Old Trafford has sparked strong protests, is also understood to have signalled his willingness to negotiate a salary drop from his current £244,000 a week package.

And with the defender also rejecting approaches from Liverpool and PSG, United look well placed to bring in the 24-year-old within the next seven to 10 days.

A prospective move for Zirkzee appears even further along. The exit clause in the Bologna striker’s deal is set at €40m, and while a commission owed to his agent Kia Joorabchian is worth another €15m, and having put off a number of their rival suitors, United are understood to have signalled their willingness to part with the money to bring the attacker to Old Trafford.

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Ashworth, Ratcliffe to know first seven Man Utd deals

And with the player set to earn a deal worth £100,000 a week over an initial four years, United should have no issues finalising that deal soon with the 42-goal striker well placed to become their first addition of the summer window.

In addition to those two arrivals, Ashworth and Ratcliffe plan to get to work on some other new arrivals. And according to the Manchester Evening News, the Red Devils cannot yet be discounted from the race to sign Leny Yoro, despite the Lille teenager seemingly favouring a move to Real Madrid.

Furthermore, United will also soon select a new midfielder with the club strongly on the trail of Joao Neves and having seen two bids already turned down. However, the likes of Manuel Ugarte, Amadou Onana and Adrien Rabiot represent other avenues for the club to explore.

With four targets on their agenda, it’s believed United are strongly working on a number of outgoings too, with a plethora of big names being put on the market.

Indeed, a report last week named the seven stars Ratcliffe is looking to move on.

First through the exit door is likely to be Mason Greenwood, with a move to Marseille looking the likeliest option.

Ratcliffe is also determined to move Casemiro on, with United’s minority shareholder going over Ten Hag’s head in his quest to move the £250,000 a week Brazilian on. A transfer to Saudi Arabia and Al-Nassr looks the likely outcome.

United are also hopeful of soon striking deals to sell both Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Scott McTominay, with an agreement nearing over the latter’s move to Galatasaray.

The two sides are yet to agree on the fee, though the player is believed to have accepted an offer to move there on a personal level.

McTominay was also wanted by the Turkish giants, but a move there seems unlikely. However, Fulham have shown preliminary interest in his signing and that is a move that could escalate in the coming days if favourable terms are presented.