SIR JIM Ratcliffe has met Erik ten Hag and his players in the meet-and–greet exercise that all ended in smiles.
Ratcliffe and his right hand man Sir Dave Brailsford visited Manchester United’s Carrington training HQ spending two hours at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
A club spokesman confirmed: “It’s no secret that Sir Jim and Sir Dave have been in town for a couple of days.
“On this occasions they were at the training ground and it was all about getting to know you.
“Sir Jim also met the staff as well as the women’s team and the whole outcome was very positive.”
Under–fire boss ten Hag can breath easy for a bit at least despite his struggles and those of a side now wallowing eighth in the Prem.
The Greater Manchester–born Ineos overlord finalised a £1billion deal to buy 25 per cent of the Red Devils on Christmas Eve.
Ratcliffe, Ineos sporting director Brailsford and their team will oversee football operations with the chemical company’s chief exec Jean-Claude Blanc expected to be made CEO while a new football director is likely to be brought in.
But the new power within the Theatre of Dreams won’t kick into action for weeks until Ratfliffe’s deal is ratified.
He must first pass the Premier League’s fit and proper person test and his acquisition of Class-A shares is approved by the New York Stock Exchange.
Ten Hag will hope that the January mini–break return of key players like Lisandro Martinez and Casemiro will spark the revival that will take the pressure off him.
Yet the message from within the club following Ratcliffe’s visits is optimistic, once source revealing: “The overall feeling within the club is one of embracing all of Sir Jim and Ineos stand for.
“The spirit of Ineos and what he and his team can bring has really lifted the whole place.”
One player who didn’t get to spend time with Ratcliffe was ostracised £72M winger Jadon Sancho.
Instead he is preparing to back his bags to head back to Borussia Dortmund in a loan deal likely to be completed by the weekend.
United want £3M to let him return to the club he left for the big – money deal that has ended with him being banned by ten Hag for publicly suggesting the manager has not told the truth about him over training issues.
Negotiations are on-going, including how much United will have to pay of his £270,000 a week wages.
Yet ten Hag is anxious to see the back of him in an arrangement that could see the disposed England attacker remain in Germany permanently at the end of his six-month loan – although almost certainly at less than half of what his current club paid for him.