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Jim Ratcliffe THREATENED to pull plug on Utd if Christmas Day deadline wasn’t met

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Sir Jim Ratcliffe had threatened to withdraw his £1.03 billion offer for Manchester United if the Glazers did not accept it by Christmas Day.

However, it appears that the Glazers could have the ability to force Ratcliffe to sell his 25% stake in the club in just 18 months.

Ratcliffe’s announcement on December 24th took many by surprise, but recent paperwork filed with the New York Stock Exchange has revealed that the Ineos billionaire was prepared to walk away if a deal was not reached.

Despite this, United announced a loss of £25.8 million for the quarter ending on September 30th, although they also posted record revenues of £157 million for the same period.

The negotiations between Ratcliffe’s company Trawlers Limited and the Glazer family have been ongoing since February of the previous year, with progress finally being made in discussions held between December 18th and 22nd.

The Glazer family had indicated their willingness to entertain offers for the club in November 2022, leading to 26 non-disclosure agreements being signed, with 19 parties invited to submit bids.

Sheikh Jassim appeared to be a frontrunner at one point but withdrew from the process in mid-October.

United’s recent financial figures also revealed that the club’s wage bill has increased by 9.7% to £90.3 million following the signing of seven new players in the summer transfer window.

Additionally, the return to the Champions League this season has likely led to an increase in player salaries due to clauses in their contracts.

Manager Erik ten Hag has sanctioned nearly £180 million worth of new signings, including Mason Mount, Rasmus Hojlund, and Andre Onana.

To offset these expenses and comply with the Premier League’s Financial Fair Play guidelines, the club has received around £30 million from the sales of Anthony Elanga, Fred, and Dean Henderson.

However, United’s financial forecast for 2024 has been revised downwards following their disappointing early exit from European football.

As a result of finishing bottom of their Champions League group, the club has missed out on additional midweek matches and prize money, which could cost them between £30 and £45 million.

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EPL

Here we go! Romano: Zirkzee to Manchester United

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Joshua Zirkzee

Here we go! Romano: Zirkzee to Manchester United, signs until June 2029

Manchester United have successfully signed Joshua Zirkzee, with the Dutch forward committing to the club until June 2029. The deal includes an option for an additional season.

Instead of triggering the release clause, United will pay slightly above €40 million, spread out over three years, providing more favorable payment terms.

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Manchester United near £26 Million transfer windfall after reaching agreement

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Manchester United have accepted a £26.7 million bid from Marseille for Mason Greenwood, contingent on the forward agreeing to personal terms with the Ligue 1 club.

The deal includes an initial fee of £23.3 million, with an additional £3.4 million in potential add-ons.

Furthermore, a substantial sell-on clause, estimated at 40% to 50%, has been included. Greenwood has been granted permission to speak with Marseille and undergo a medical.

Previously, several Italian clubs, including Juventus, Napoli, and Lazio, showed interest in Greenwood.

However, Marseille has emerged as the frontrunner for his signature.

Greenwood, who hasn’t played for United since January 2022, recently returned to Carrington for talks with the club’s new football leadership team, including sporting director Dan Ashworth and technical director Jason Wilcox.

It was made clear during these discussions that a permanent exit this summer was the priority.

However, the potential signing of Greenwood has sparked protests among Marseille supporters. A statement on OM Forum read:

“At a time when negotiations for the arrival of Mason Greenwood are announced as becoming increasingly heated, it seems necessary to explain, once again and before the damage becomes irreversible, why this transfer seems inconceivable in view of the values displayed by the club and why it would mean for many of us a red line that would irreparably damage the passion that we have for this club.”

Greenwood was arrested in January 2022 on charges of attempted rape, controlling and coercive behavior, and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

These charges were dropped in February 2023 after key witnesses withdrew their cooperation. United conducted an internal review and concluded that they believed Greenwood had not committed the offenses.

However, attempts to reintegrate him into the squad last August were abandoned following a fan backlash, leading to the decision that his career at Old Trafford was over.

After spending last season on loan at Getafe, where he scored 10 goals in 36 games, Greenwood attracted the attention of several European clubs. He leaves United with a record of 35 goals in 129 appearances.

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Man Utd agree personal terms with Matthijs de Ligt as final barrier remains

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Man Utd agree personal terms with Matthijs de Ligt as final barrier remains

Manchester United have reached an agreement on personal terms with their top transfer target, Matthijs de Ligt, as negotiations with Bayern Munich for the center-back progress.

Bayern Munich has set a £42 million price tag for the 24-year-old Dutch international, and United is confident that a deal will be finalized.

De Ligt, who has yet to play for the Netherlands at Euro 2024, is eager to reunite with his former Ajax manager Erik ten Hag.

Sources at Mirror Football confirm that Ten Hag and De Ligt have held direct discussions, with the United manager working hard to persuade the defender.

Ten Hag outlined his vision for the club, which remains positive despite a challenging season that ended with an FA Cup victory.

Last week, key figures at Old Trafford, including part-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe, activated a one-year extension clause in Ten Hag’s contract, securing his role until 2026.

Ten Hag views De Ligt as a cornerstone for United’s defense, having previously coached him to the Champions League semi-finals with Ajax when De Ligt was just 19.

Bayern Munich is willing to let De Ligt go if their valuation is met, and the player is focused solely on joining Manchester United.

Bayern’s new manager, Vincent Kompany, is close to signing Bayer Leverkusen’s Jonathan Tah as De Ligt’s replacement, following a disappointing season under Thomas Tuchel.

United plans to bolster their defense by signing two center-backs before the transfer window closes on August 30.

The club has already seen two bids for Everton’s Jarrad Branthwaite rejected, the latest being £50 million. Additionally, they are reportedly negotiating with Lille for 18-year-old Leny Yoro, although Yoro is rumored to prefer a move to Real Madrid, with Liverpool and PSG also interested.

Following the expiration of Raphael Varane’s contract, United is in discussions to extend veteran Jonny Evans’ stay on a short-term basis. Currently, only Lisandro Martinez, Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, and Willy Kambwala are under contract. Maguire and Lindelof might be sold to raise funds.

United is leveraging their existing relationship with De Ligt’s agent, Rafaela Pimenta, to finalize the deal.

Ten Hag’s squad returned to Carrington for pre-season training on Monday, ready to prepare for the upcoming season.

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