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Man Utd have already decided their next signing after Man City chief Omar Berrada | Football | Sport

Omar Berrada looks set to be one of three major appointments at the start of the Sir Jim Ratcliffe era at Manchester United, according to reports. The capture of Manchester City’s chief football operations officer will be the start of a structural shake-up under the INEOS banner in the coming months.

United’s quiet January transfer window, in terms of incomings, anyway, is an indicator that the club’s priorities lie elsewhere in the lead-up to the summer.

Ratcliffe, 71, expects his £1.3billion investment for a 29 per cent stake in the club he has supported since childhood to be ratified by the Premier League next month.

But steps are already being taken alongside the Glazer family to ensure United are well-placed to make a splash ahead of INEOS’ first full season at the sporting helm.

Berrada’s sudden arrival before Ratcliffe and his team officially enter power at Old Trafford has caught many in the industry by surprise and raised caution that they mean business.

And they don’t appear to be slowing down in their search for elite football figures that United have sorely lacked across a decade of underachievement.

According to The Athletic, INEOS’ focus is now expected to shift to the appointment of a sporting director and head of recruitment.

United will likely replace current football director John Murtough with a more experienced executive who can drive positive change to the club’s below-par recruitment of late.

There are also plans to hire a head of recruitment, who would align with the sporting director and Berrada over decisions about transfers and contracts.

The report claims that United believe luring individuals away from winning organisations can bring immediate benefits in M16.

Reports elsewhere moot Newcastle United’s director of football, Dan Ashworth, as Ratcliffe’s first-choice option to become a sporting director at Old Trafford.

Ashworth only landed at St James’ Park from Brighton and Hove Albion in 2022 and has contributed to Newcastle’s early signs of promise under Saudi Arabian ownership.

It would likely take a great deal of persuasion and financial compensation to poach another top-ranking chief from a direct Premier League rival.

However, Ratcliffe and INEOS are said to be ready to do whatever it takes to ensure the correct individuals make up their new-look structure at United.

Paul Mitchell, Michael Edwards, Julian Ward, Dougie Freedman and Andrea Berta are among the directors also linked with a job at Old Trafford.

Both appointments will likely be wrapped up by the end of the season, with any candidates bound to join Berrada in having to serve gardening leave before getting to work.

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