Incoming minority shareholder, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, is poised to take decisive action with Erik ten Hag’s underperforming squad. Reports suggest Ratcliffe is willing to allow Anthony Martial to depart for free in January, marking the initial step in three high-profile exits.
The British billionaire’s imminent 25% purchase of the Glazers’ majority shareholding, estimated at £1.4bn, grants him significant influence over transfer activities.
Ratcliffe aims to allocate funds for squad reinforcement but insists on parting ways with underperforming players before approving new signings.
Expressing discontent with seven significant transfers, including Paul Pogba and Angel Di Maria, Ratcliffe is determined to avoid past mistakes. The £75m deal for Romelu Lukaku is also under scrutiny, as the club changed their minds two years later, allowing him to move on.
While unable to alter previous decisions, Ratcliffe will wield considerable influence over forthcoming transfers, holding a major say on the club’s strategic moves.
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Man Utd has informed Anthony Martial, a £56m signing in his ninth season at Old Trafford since his notable move from Monaco in 2015, that he can depart.
Martial’s contract was set to expire in the summer, prompting discussions among United chiefs about a potential extension to avoid losing him as a free agent, akin to the situation with Pogba in 2022.
Despite this consideration, Ratcliffe, signaling a shift in plans, reportedly sees Martial as not part of his long-term vision. Consequently, Martial is expected to be granted a free transfer immediately in January, rather than waiting until the summer when his contract expires.
Inter Milan is reportedly already considering a move for the prolific forward.
This departure is anticipated not to be the sole significant exit, as recent reports suggest it is ‘certain’ that Donny van de Beek, a £40m signing from Ajax in 2020, will also be moved on due to his underwhelming performance for the Red Devils.
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