Liverpool set to thwart Ratcliffe’s plans by poaching INEOS target in Man Utd transfer news

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Manchester United owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe wants to give the Old Trafford side a facelift in the summer, but his plans threaten to be thwarted by Liverpool, who are angling to beat the INEOS chief to his first major target.

Ratcliffe is aiming to overhaul things behind the scenes at Old Trafford, starting at the very top of the sporting structure. Sir Dave Brailsford will oversee matters but below him, Man Utd want to put in place a new director of football.

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Newcastle’s Dan Ashworth is a figure widely believed to be of interest, but Liverpool are making strides to beat the Red Devils to a man who Ratcliffe had hoped would become a keystone of his organisation.

Liverpool have also been linked with Julian Ward and Paul Mitchell for the post, but of this trio, well-connected journalist Ben Jacobs has explained that Ashworth is the likeliest.

Speaking to GiveMeSport, he said: “I don’t see Liverpool returning for Ward because he’s left more recently. That’s a Manchester United candidate. I don’t think Ashworth is beyond the realms of possibility because he’s liked by Liverpool.

“I also think there’s less chance that Liverpool will come in for Mitchell because they’ve looked at him in the past and chose not to move. So, it would be surprising if they returned for him.”

Sir Jim Ratcliffe
© IMAGO – Sir Jim Ratcliffe

INEOS have not completed their 25% takeover of Manchester United yet, but this is expected to be done in a matter of weeks, if not days, and once the deal is formalised sweeping changes are expected at Old Trafford.

Ratcliffe is set to take command of the sporting structure of the club and has far-reaching plans for change, yet his choice for sporting director will have a profound impact on the direction the team takes and it is yet unclear who will assume that position.

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