Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Ratcliffe intervenes with Man Utd to make £75m signing regardless of Ten Hag sack

Everton centre-back Jarrad Branthwaite and Man Utd co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe

Ratcliffe is leading the Man Utd charge for a highly-rated centre-half

Manchester United have settled on their No 1 transfer target for the summer after a Sir Jim Ratcliffe intervention, and two reports have revealed Erik ten Hag’s role as well as how much United intend to bid.

A huge summer is expected at Old Trafford as the new Ratcliffe era clicks into gear. Major change has already taken place behind the scenes, with the highly-regarded Omar Berrada replacing Richard Arnold as CEO. Berrada was successfully lured away from rivals Manchester City, thus indicating the scale of United’s coup.

Newcastle sporting director, Dan Ashworth, is being targeted for the sporting director role. Potentially joining him at Man Utd could be Southampton’s Jason Wilcox who’d head up recruitment and report to Ashworth.

DAN ASHWORTH: 10 worst signings amid doubts Man Utd director target is worth astonishing compensation fee

The managerial position could also see change, with TEAMtalk exclusively learning back on March 1 that Ten Hag is viewed as a ‘dead man walking’ by some within the club.

Elsewhere, a radical squad overhaul looks to be on the cards, with United open to permanent exits for the likes of Casemiro, Donny van de Beek, Jadon Sancho, Antony and Mason Greenwood.

Furthermore, Jonny Evans, Raphael Varane and Anthony Martial are all out of contract.

Ridding the books of high earners like Varane and Casemiro would greatly boost United’s spending power and ability to attract new stars with sky high wages.

However, according to two similar reports from the Daily Star and Daily Mirror, Ratcliffe will take a more reserved approach to the market.

Ratcliffe is in full control of all footballing operations at Old Trafford and the reports both state he’s spoken with senior United chiefs regarding summer transfer targets.

It’s revealed Everton centre-back, Jarrad Branthwaite, has been installed as Man Utd’s primary goal in the summer.

Man Utd to open bidding well below Everton valuation

The 21-year-old left-footer has arguably been Everton’s best player this season. Only midfielder Amadou Onana could rival Branthwaite in that regard.

Branthwaite is widely regarded as among the most promising young English defenders in the game and a future England international. A senior call-up ahead of Euro 2024 has been strongly speculated.

Everton may be forced into selling one – or more – of their finest assets to help balance the books in the summer. It’s suggested avoiding relegation to the Championship won’t change that.

Everton are said to value Branthwaite around the £70m-£75m range. However, despite United making the centre-back their No 1 target, they won’t rush into a rash decision.

Instead, it’s claimed United intend to test the waters with an opening gambit worth roughly £50m. If rejected, they’ll weigh up their options before potentially raising the stakes.

READ MORE: Nine Man Utd players who currently earn more than Erik ten Hag, including star he’s banished

Ratcliffe instigates transfer policy change

United’s recruitment has been a sore spot for the club in the post-Ferguson era. With Ratcliffe now pulling the strings, a more measured approach will be taken.

Long gone too may be the days of signing superstar names at the back end of their careers – such as Varane and Casemiro, to name just two.

The Mirror state: ‘Ratcliffe is keen to invest in younger, home-grown talents who can provide United with a maximum return on their investment.’

Interestingly, it’s also claimed a move for Branthwaite will be launched irrespective of whether Ten Hag remains the manager beyond the summer.

Clearly, Ten Hag will not have the final say on who Man Utd sign if he does avoid the chop.

DON’T MISS: Fabrizio Romano sets record straight on Man Utd plans for Mason Greenwood