Man Utd Transfer News: Ratcliffe’s First Signing Revealed as Red Devils Set Sights on Saka

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New Manchester United owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe wants to make Crystal Palace winger Michael Olise one of first signings of his era as a shareholder of the Old Trafford side.

Ratcliffe’s INEOS group are set to buy a 25% stake in Man Utd and will take sporting control over the ailing club.

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There is expected to be an overhaul of the club’s recruitment process, with a new sporting director set to be appointed and a clear out of backroom staff. Manager Erik ten Hag is likely to have less of a say, meanwhile, in transfers, although the former Ajax boss is prepared to speak out against this.

According to The Evening Standard, Man Utd have targeted Olise as one of the club’s first signings under the new regime.

This deal is only likely to be done in the summer, when the player has a release clause that comes into force. The size of this is unknown but it is said “to be significantly more than the £35 million release clause” that he had in a previous deal with the club before he signed a new four-year contract last summer.

Indeed, it is likely to be the summer transfer window that is Ratcliffe’s first in full charge of the club, with INEOS’ 25% buyout not expected to be completed before the end of January.

Ratcliffe’s right-hand man Sir Dave Brailsford is already identifying transfer targets, with France U21 international Olise towards the top of that list.

Michael Olise, Crystal Palace
– Michael Olise, Crystal Palace

Man Utd’s answer to Saka

Man Utd hope that the 22-year-old Olise will be their answer to their goal-scoring problems, with Ten Hag’s men having netted just 22 goals this season in the Premier League, the third-worst total in the competitions.

Data analytics firm SciSports see Olise as a player comparable to Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka in terms of his style as a classic winger.

Michael Olise

2022/2023 | Premier League (ENG)

Right wing (2153 Minutes played)

99% WidePlaymakerClassicWingerInsideForward

Bukayo Saka

2022/2023 | Premier League (ENG)

Right wing (3337 Minutes played)

99% WidePlaymakerClassicWingerInsideForward

The Crystal Palace winger, though, is significantly weaker than the Gunner in terms of his overall ability, though SciSports believe that he has the potential to become a key player at Man Utd.

He has an Expected Transfer Value (ETV) of €28 million, though Man Utd will clearly have to pay over the odds in order to get Crystal Palace to release him.

Olise, then, could be the first major test of Man Utd’s new, smarter, transfer plans.

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