EXCLUSIVE: Ratcliffe to prioritise hunt for homegrown talent at United

EXCLUSIVE: Sir Jim’s Brit Pack! £1.3bn Man United investor Ratcliffe will tell new-look recruitment team to go for homegrown talent over foreign stars, as details of his early plans and targets are revealed

  • British billionaire will take control of football operations with 25 per cent stake 
  • United have focused on foreign transfer markets in recent transfer windows  
  • Sir Jim Ratcliffe could be Erik ten Hag’s biggest threat – Listen to why on It’s All Kicking Off 

Sir Jim Ratcliffe is set to instruct a new-look Manchester United recruitment team to prioritise homegrown talent as he aims to fire the club back to English football’s summit.

The INEOS chief is closing in on a 25 percent stake in United, with his £1.3billion buy-out edging closer to completion.

Ratcliffe’s group will assume control of United’s footballing operation and have already started planning an overhaul of their recruitment set-up.

Mail Sport has learned the billionaire businessman is eager to see more of a domestic presence – particularly within the core of the team – at United.

Historically, United have shown a commitment to showcasing local and domestic talent – but, like with many other clubs, there has been a greater focus on the foreign transfer markets in recent years.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe is set to assume control of football operations at Man United with his 25 per cent stake

Former manager Sir Alex Ferguson was hailed as a fine developer of homegrown talents

Just seven of United’s major signings since his departure are British, including Harry Maguire

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Since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013, just seven of United’s major signings have been homegrown: Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Daniel James, Jadon Sancho, Mason Mount and Jonny Evans.

And well-placed sources have indicated that Ratcliffe, who saw United dominate English football under Ferguson with a core contingent of British players, wants to reinforce a domestic flavour to United’s international squad provided, of course, they are good enough.

The British market is widely-regraded as being over-inflated, with many Premier League clubs believing they can land better value for money abroad.

And while United’s transfer policy under INEOS will ultimately dictated by financial limitations, there is a will from Ratcliffe to buy British.

The fact prospective signings have already experienced the rigours of English football is viewed as a key reason why INEOS feel buying British would be beneficial.

Director of Sport for INEOS – Sir Dave Brailsford – is set for a strategic role at Old Trafford once the buy-out is ratified.

The club’s current football director John Murtough’s position will be under threat with INEOS considering appointing at least two new senior recruitment executives.

Paul Mitchell, formerly of Spurs, Monaco and Southampton, is in the running to secure one of those positions, while Michael Edwards – formerly of Liverpool – is also admired.

Newcastle sporting director Dan Ashworth has been linked but he is expected to stay at St James’ Park.

INEOS’ Director of Sport Sir Dave Brailsford is thought to take a key role after the takeover

The club are keen to secure the signature of Brentford’s Ivan Toney – but face stiff competition from Premier League rivals

United are currently among the clubs closely monitoring Brentford striker Ivan Toney ahead of the next two transfer windows.

Toney is expected to leave in the summer – but United are set to face Arsenal and Chelsea for his signature.

The thought of a move to Arsenal is said to appeal to the England international but the Gunners are keeping their options open with regards to their search for centre forward – Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins and Napoli’s Victor Osimhen the other names considered by Mikel Arteta.

United are also interested in Crystal Palace centre-back Marc Guehi, but the England defender is unlikely to be available until the summer and will cost a minimum £60million.


It’s All Kicking Off is an exciting new podcast from Mail Sport that promises a different take on Premier League football, launching with a preview show today and every week this season.

It is available on MailOnline, Mail+, YouTube , Apple Music and Spotify

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