Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Ratcliffe sets Man Utd recruitment priority as two Prem stars become summer 2024 targets

Marc Guehi and Ivan Toney next to the Man Utd badge

Man Utd targets Marc Guehi and Ivan Toney

Manchester United are interested in Brentford striker Ivan Toney and Crystal Palace defender Marc Guehi as Sir Jim Ratcliffe looks to buy British, a report has revealed.

When Ratcliffe purchases his 25% stake in Manchester United, it will give him control of their footballing operations. The INEOS figurehead has been embroiled in the takeover saga for many months, but is expected to finally get his way.

There will be plenty of attention on what kind of changes Ratcliffe might implement after that, especially in the transfer market.

According to the Daily Mail, Ratcliffe wants Man Utd to build a squad around homegrown players, which means they could move for Toney and Guehi in 2024.

In both cases, the players are more likely to be available in the summer. Earlier this week, TEAMtalk confirmed Crystal Palace want to keep Guehi until after England’s involvement in the European Championship in the summer – and that the centre-back himself would be in no hurry to leave in January.

As for Toney, the Brentford frontman has been unable to play all season due to a ban for betting offences. He will return to action in January, when there will be plenty of interest in his signature.

Arsenal and Chelsea are also interested in Toney, for example, but Brentford have been keen to renew his contract beyond 2025, even if that is just to strengthen their hand in negotiations with other clubs.

By the summer, Man Utd might fancy their chances more of completing deals for Toney and Guehi.

In Toney’s centre-forward position, Man Utd invested heavily in Rasmus Hojlund from Atalanta over the summer, but he is not a player worthy of the price tag they paid just yet.

Anthony Martial will be out of contract at the end of the season, so Man Utd could look for a more experienced frontman to lead the line.

Meanwhile, in defence, TEAMtalk has learned that Raphael Varane is keeping an eye out for which clubs might be interested in him, in case he decides to leave Man Utd.

The Red Devils could subsequently be in the market for a new starting partner for Lisandro Martinez at centre-half, despite a recent return to prominence for Harry Maguire.

At the age of 23, former Chelsea prospect Guehi could become a long-term solution for Man Utd if they are able to win the race for his signature.

As things stand, Crystal Palace have Guehi under contract until 2026, which will mark five years since they signed him.

Man Utd aiming for homegrown core

If Man Utd can add Toney and Guehi to their squad, they would become the latest homegrown players at their disposal.

Currently, Erik ten Hag can call upon the likes of Maguire, Marcus Rashford, Luke Shaw, Mason Mount, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Scott McTominay.

England international Rashford and Scotland international McTominay both came through the Man Utd academy, whereas the other players mentioned were bought from elsewhere.

For example, Wan-Bissaka arrived from Crystal Palace back in 2019, which indicates the pathway that Guehi might get the chance to follow.

As the report explains, Man Utd will look to sign more British players on the condition they are good enough, despite some believing the English market is inflated.

Ratcliffe recalls when Man Utd enjoyed success under Sir Alex Ferguson with a domestic core, which he could order his transfer team to reconstruct for a new era.

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