Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
The Guardian - UK
The Guardian - UK
Jamie Jackson and Jacob Steinberg

Ratcliffe ready for Manchester United sale verdict to roll into next season

Sir Jim Ratcliffe at Manchester United’s Old Trafford stadium in March.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe at Manchester United’s Old Trafford stadium in March. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA

Sir Jim Ratcliffe is prepared for Manchester United’s protracted potential sale to enter the new season if required and is putting no timeframe on when the Glazers need to make a decision.

If there is no resolution by mid-August, when the 2023-24 campaign starts, it will be nine months since the Glazers indicated that their 18-year ownership could end by starting “a process to explore strategic alternatives”.

Ratcliffe is yet to hear from the American family after his bid to obtain a majority shareholding in a deal that may retain one or more of the Glazers as minority owners. It is understood he remains patient regarding the process.

Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani, the other publicly declared interested party, has become frustrated at the length of the process. His final offer, a fifth, was lodged in early June and is for no more than £6bn. He is unsure about the American family’s intent to sell.

United are poised to complete the £42.9m signing of the Internazionale goalkeeper André Onana, who has been in Manchester for a medical, and will then turn their focus towards signing a forward. Erik ten Hag’s top target was Harry Kane but United have had to look elsewhere after deciding a deal for the Tottenham striker is too difficult. Ten Hag is interested in Atalanta’s Rasmus Højlund, who scored nine goals in Serie A last season, and is also monitoring Eintracht Frankfurt’s Randal Kolo Muani.

Both players are likely to be expensive. Atalanta initially set the asking price for Højlund at €100m (£86.8m) but United hope €70m will secure the Denmark striker. They do not want to pay over the odds for the 20-year-old and have kept their options open by targeting Kolo Muani. Eintracht are unlikely to sell the France international for less than £75m and there are suggestions they will ask for £90m for the 24-year-old.

Kolo Muani, who can play through the middle or on the flanks, could be a good fit for Ten Hag. He scored 15 goals and registered 11 assists in the Bundesliga last season and caught the eye for France during their defeat by Argentina in the World Cup final last year. Paris Saint-Germain have also been linked with the former Nantes forward.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.