Manchester United to make shock first signing under Sir Jim Ratcliffe: report

Prospective Manchester United owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe pictured during the signing of an investment pact between chemicals group Ineos and the Antwerp harbor, Tuesday 15 January 2019 in Antwerp.
(Image credit: DIRK WAEM/AFP via Getty Images)

Manchester United will look to bring in English names under their stewardship of Sir Jim Ratcliffe and the club see Brentford striker Ivan Toney as an ideal fit.

The Ineos chief, whose 25 per cent stake in the Premier League giants is set to be announced in the coming weeks, wants to drastically overhaul the club’s infrastructure and recruitment, believing that the club should focus more on domestic targets for forthcoming windows.

One of the players that Man Utd have been closely monitoring is Brentford forward Toney, reports the Daily Mail. It's thought that the former Newcastle player will leave the Bees in the summer, with Chelsea and Arsenal also keen on acquiring his services.

BRENTFORD, ENGLAND - APRIL 08: Ivan Toney of Brentford celebrates after scoring the team's first goal from a penalty kick during the Premier League match between Brentford FC and Newcastle United at Brentford Community Stadium on April 08, 2023 in Brentford, England. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

(Image credit: Getty Images)

In keeping with Man Utd’s new philosophy, they are reportedly expressing interest in Crystal Palace centre-back Marc Guehi, though it’s another deal that’s unlikely to materialise until the summer transfer window.

Indeed, Ratcliffe is looking to direct a revamped recruitment team whose priority will be the acquisition of homegrown talent. 

The club have traditionally been one of the best in class in bringing through young English talent, epitomised by the trophy-laden tenure of Sir Alex Ferguson, but in more recent years they have spent money buying names from overseas. 

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag looks dejected after defeat to Crystal Palace at Old Trafford in September 2023.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Since the departure of Ferguson in 2013, there have only been seven notable homegrown signings, including Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Daniel James, Jadon Sancho, Mason Mount, and Jonny Evans, who’s currently enjoying his second stint at Old Trafford.

Most of their significant buys in the post-Ferguson years have come from abroad, and that’s believed this is a cause contributing to their recent slump.

Ratcliffe’s ambition is to bring about the blueprint that saw such dominance ten years ago, which is why there is an ambition to recruit new members of the Man Utd board and strip Erik ten Hag of some of his power in this regard.

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