INEOS CEO Sir Jim Ratcliffe is ready to make considerable changes to how Manchester United operates in the transfer window. The beginning of the year means the January transfer window is now underway. Ratcliffe now heads the club’s soccer operations. Therefore, he oversees how it operates in the transfer market and how it will feature on the field. Of course, it comes down to club manager Erik ten Hag working with Ratcliffe to pick the right players for his squad.

Last season, Manchester United was quiet in the January transfer window. At the time, United was on a sensational run of form that ultimately helped it finish third in the league table. Manchester United did not make any signings. Much of that was due to financial fair play concerns after heavy spending in the summer.

United must walk that same tightrope this season. The Red Devils are constantly on the verge of raising issues regarding financial fair play. Barring the sale of one of United’s more expensive talents, it is out of the race to get Ivan Toney or Kylian Mbappe.

United, Ratcliffe want a new head of transfer strategy

However, United may make moves off the pitch. Ratcliffe is actively targeting a new sporting director to take over for John Murtough. All signs point to Murtough’s exit once Ratcliffe ratifies his 25% stake in Manchester United. United wants to replace Murtough with both Dan Ashworth and Paul Mitchell. Ashworth is the sporting director at Newcastle, which has rapidly turned its fortunes around. Before then, he helped lead the revolution of success at Brighton. Mitchell, on the other hand, was the head of Tottenham recruitment.

INEOS is using Sir Dave Brailsford, who is the head of sport for the company, to acquire new sporting leadership.

“Sir Dave will go all out for Dan [Ashworth],” one source told British news outlet i. “This is what he is good at – getting the right people in, in the right roles. He won’t interfere with coaching or tell a manager which players to sign. He will get the right person in to do that. And he always gets his man.”

In this case, that could mean acquiring one or both Ashworth and Mitchell. This would allow Manchester United to have more experience to make sensible signings. Ratcliffe is expected to meet with ten Hag this week to discuss the future transfer strategies at Manchester United.

Ratcliffe laments previous United moves

When speaking to United’s hierarchy, Ratcliffe and Brailsford commented on the horrendous batch of transfers that put United in a financial hole. The new minority owner at United wants to increase communication to allow ten Hag to make strong signings that will perform at Old Trafford. At the same time, this does not mean they will be overly expensive and flashy.

In regard to ten Hag, Ratcliffe is not putting the Dutch manager under any stress of sacking. Part of Ratcliffe’s strategy at United is to put more faith in the manager and resist knee-jerk reactions to poor results. In this way, and hopefully, by appointing a new sporting director, Ratcliffe can allow United to be competitive against clubs like Manchester City.