Ratcliffe: Sign Mbappe for Man Utd? I’d rather find the next Mbappe

Daily News
6 Min Read
Ratcliffe: Sign Mbappe for Man Utd? I’d rather find the next Mbappe

Sir Jim Ratcliffe says he would rather unearth the next Kylian Mbappe for Manchester United than spend a fortune on the France forward.

Ratcliffe, whose INEOS company has taken control of football operations at Old Trafford, wants to move away from the approach of trying to buy success, as has been the case under the Glazers.

United have spent more than £1bn on signings since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013 but failed to challenge for the Premier League title, coming closest when finishing 12 points behind Man City in 2021/22 under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Ratcliffe, though, made clear he will not rush plans to return United to the top as he shed light on INEOS’ overhaul of the club’s recruitment strategy.

“I’d rather find the next Mbappe than spend a fortune trying to buy success,” Ratcliffe told The Geraint Thomas Cycling Club Podcast. “It’s not that clever, is it, buying Mbappe, in a way?

“Anyone could figure that one out. Much more challenging is to find the next Mbappe or Jude Bellingham or the next Roy Keane.”

Kylian Mbappe's double saw PSG cruise through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League

Image: PSG star Kylian Mbappe is expected to join Real Madrid this summer

Real Madrid's Jude Bellingham celebrates

Image: Signing a player of Jude Bellingham’s calibre is not a priority for Ratcliffe at Man Utd

Sir Dave Brailsford, the architect of Great Britain’s success in cycling, is overseeing the creation of the new-look football operation at Old Trafford and has already brought in Omar Berrada from Man City to become the club’s chief executive.

United are also in negotiations with Newcastle about a deal to end Dan Ashworth’s gardening leave early so he can become sporting director, although there is yet to be an agreement over a price.

Ratcliffe says getting the right structure in place is the key to solving United’s issues in the transfer market.

Asked if he would like to sign Bellingham, Ratcliffe said: “It’s not where our focus is, the solution isn’t spending a lot of money on a couple of great players. They’ve done that over the last 10 years.

“The first thing we need to do is get the right people in the right boxes who are managing and organising the club and make sure we get recruitment right. It’s such a vital part of running a football club today, finding new players.”

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Sky Sports football journalist Peter Smith and cycling journalist Daniel Friebe take a look at the challenges facing Sir Dave Brailsford

Asked if that will be Brailsford’s job, he added: “It’s not the only part but it is a big part of it. It’s a collective at the end of the day. Dave is the one who is right in the middle of it all. It is where you start.

“You need the right organisation structure. In the days of Sir Alex Ferguson, he was the manager. We don’t have managers today, we have a coach. And the coach would report to a sporting director and they would report to the chief executive.

“You need to figure out where you put recruitment and strategy, you need to get your organisation right and then populate it with people who are best in class.”

He added: “It’s not a light switch at Man Utd, it’s a much longer road to travel, because there’s so many aspects of that club and that game that you need to get right.”

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Sir Dave Brailsford offers a cheeky response after a young fan asks if Man Utd will buy Kylian Mbappe

Brailsford is at the heart of this process, but Ratcliffe insists his role will not stretch to identifying potential signings.

“Dave wouldn’t profess to ever say, ‘we need to buy that player because I think he’s a very good player’, Dave would never do that, it’s not his skill set. But we need that skill set at Manchester United,” said Ratcliffe.

Asked how hands-on he will be, Ratcliffe added: “We all talk on a daily basis, there’s a group of us involved in Manchester United but the two people most focused on it would be Dave and myself.

“We’ve now got Omar Berrada, of course, who’s on gardening leave at the moment but he’s become a big part of a trio when he settles in. He’s come from Man City and will be the chief executive.”

Share This Article
Leave a comment