New Manchester United investor Sir Jim Ratcliffe is reportedly readying an approach to sign in-demand Georgiy Sudakov, with the Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder attracting attention from several of European football’s big hitters.
The British billionaire is still to see his £1.4bn investment to buy 25 per cent of Manchester United gain official ratification following a delay in confirming the documentation across the Atalantic. Nonetheless, the 71-year-old already seems to have his feet under the table and is already putting plans in place for squad improvements.
To that end, Ratcliffe will oversee the club’s transfer department, which, for too long, has fallen disappointingly short of expectations.
And with the INEOS chief determined to overhaul that entire sector, a major change in the club’s transfer strategy is expected to be put into practice.
Rather than wasting millions on players perceived to be over-the-hill and in the autumn of their careers, Ratcliffe would rather United target younger players, who are hungry to improve and whom ultimately will not see the club suffer a financial hit.
High-cost signings such as Raphael Varane and Casemiro – who cost a combined £104m over successive summers from Real Madrid – will no longer be sanctioned.
As a result, a report on Tuesday evening claimed United were looking to make up to four signings, ideally in January, but more realistically over the next two transfer windows.
And with a major summer signing already under threat, it’s claimed Ratcliffe, alongside manager Erik ten Hag, would like a right-sided centre half, a defensive midfielder, a new No 8 and another attacker.
With regards the new No 8, it’s reported in Italy that United have joined the hunt for talented young Shakhtar midfielder Sudakov.
Man Utd join scramble to sign Ukraine star Sudakov
The 21-year-old midfielder has been earning rave reviews for the Ukrainian side, where he has scored 13 goals and has 13 assists from 82 appearances.
His fine form has earned him 12 caps for Ukraine, and has not gone unnoticed by several big European sides. Arsenal and Chelsea are among those reportedly keen, while interest in his services is growing in Italy with AC Milan and Juventus among those keen.
However, TuttoJuve claims United have nudged their way into the reckoning and are also exploring a possible deal to sign Sudakov themselves.
The player’s form has reportedly alerted their scouts and, having watched him extensively in recent weeks, paying particular note to his appearances in the Champions League, Ratcliffe is seemingly looking into a posssible deal to sign him.
Sudakov has made 15 appearances in all competitions so far this season – including four in the Champions League – scoring three goals and making one assist in the process.
He is reportedly valued at around the €45m mark and Shakhtar are seemingly open to his sale if their valuation is met in January.
Mudryk keen on Chelsea link-up
Any move to United, however, would break the heart of his Ukraine teammate Mykhaylo Mudryk, who is imploring Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino to bring him to Stamford Bridge.
The winger himself moved to SW6 last January for a huge fee of £88.5m and initially took time to settle at the club. However, his form has showed signs of progress in recent months and he’s become a trusted member of Pochettino’s side.
As part of that progress and trusts he feels under the Argentine, he is trying to persuade his manager to move for Sudakov and bring his close pal to the club alongside him.
However, with United also now in the hunt, the Chelsea man could yet be frustrated if he sees his international teammate snapped up by the Red Devils instead.