Ratcliffe leaves Old Trafford after Man Utd takeover talks
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Manchester United may be able to afford the biggest and best players in the world once a takeover goes through. Harry Kane and Jude Bellingham are two players Erik ten Hag is dreaming of signing as he looks to win the Premier League title next term. So Express Sport now takes a look at how the Red Devils would line up if they’re able to recruit the pair.
Goalkeeper: David De Gea
There have been reports over the course of the season that United could look to upgrade on David De Gea.
Though the Spain international remains an impressive shot-stopper, he still lacks the ability to play out from the back.
However, with United in talks with De Gea over a new contract, it seems far likelier he’ll stay.
Of course, it’s also possible Dean Henderson will be given a genuine shot at the No 1 jersey.
But the England international won’t want to hang around at Old Trafford if he’s to play second fiddle, something he made abundantly clear earlier in the season.
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Defence: Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Martinez, Shaw
Many were expecting Aaron Wan-Bissaka to leave the club back in January, having endured a rough start to the campaign.
However, ever since, the former Crystal Palace star has gone from strength to strength and he seems to be ahead of Diogo Dalot in Ten Hag’s pecking order.
At centre-back, nobody is dislodging the partnership of Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez anytime soon.
United may, though, did into the transfer market to land a replacement for Harry Maguire should the England international opt to leave.
And Luke Shaw is a regular at left-back these days, having temporarily lost his place to Tyrell Malacia back in September.
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Midfield: Bellingham, Casemiro, Fernandes
For years, United’s midfield has paled in comparison to their rivals.
Yet if they land Jude Bellingham, they’d have one of the best tridents in the whole of world football.
The England international is a top target and, with United getting better and better – barring the recent 7-0 thrashing at the hands of Liverpool – they have a genuine shot at securing his signature.
Casemiro would then go alongside the 19-year-old.
And that would enable Bruno Fernandes to operate in the No 10 role.
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Forwards: Antony, Kane, Rashford
United are well-stocked for wingers at present with Alejandro Garnacho, Facundo Pellistri and Jadon Sancho also attacking options.
But Antony and Marcus Rashford are usually starters out wide – and it’s hard to see that changing anytime soon.
United know they need a world-class No 9 as an upgrade on Wout Weghorst this summer.
And Kane is Ten Hag’s priority transfer target for the end of the season.
Any deal won’t be cheap, of course. But if they receive a cash injection from any potential takeover, money may not necessarily prove to be an object.
On Thursday, representatives of Sheikh Jassim travelled to Manchester to hold talks.
These discussions have been described as ‘positive’, despite the Qatari billionaire not being there in person.
Then, on Friday, Sir Jim Ratcliffe met with United executives to discuss a takeover.
Interested parties are due to launch their next bids for the club by next week.
And a final decision should then be made in April.
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