The international break has done nothing to calm the waters around Manchester United with the major news that the club is closer to securing new investment.
However, it will not be in the shape of Sheikh Jassim, who pulled out of the race to buy they club after having a fifth bid turned down by the much-maligned Glazer family.
It now looks as though Sir Jim Ratcliffe will secure a minority (25%) stake in United and work closely with the current owners for the foreseeable future.
Ratcliffe’s involvement could have a direct impact in United’s January transfer window with the first-team still in need of reinforcements to get back to challenging at the top.
With Ratcliffe reportedly planning a change to the sporting structure at the club, transfer-guru Fabrizio Romano has confirmed Erik ten Hag will still have a huge say on transfers, as he has done since his arrival.
“It could be that United will have the involvement of Sir Jim for the January transfer window. In any case, Erik ten Hag will always be important in the conversations, as he was in the summer,” said Romano.
A world class defender is high on the managers wishlist and United do have plans to secure a top centre-back next year but the process may be expedited to January should injuries and sales occur.
“First of all, it will be important to understand what happens in defence, because Lisandro Martinez is injured, and we’ll see if the club receive any proposals for Harry Maguire.
“Manchester United’s plan has been to target a top centre-back signing in 2024, and we’ll see if that could be in January depending on what happens with Martinez and Maguire,” Romano claims.
One player that seems certain to stay at Old Trafford is Swedish captain Victor Lindelof who is in advanced talks to extend his contract after United turned down offers for him in the summer.
“Victor Lindelof has suggested he is likely to have his contract extended. Man United always rated him highly, so I’m not surprised. Erik ten Hag said no to Inter and Atletico Madrid approaches last January and again in the summer,” Romano adds.
United have suffered with injuries in their defensive ranks this season, and this has no doubt played a huge role in the sloppy start to the new campaign.
The addition of a high quality, reliable, central defender is key to United moving forward under Ten Hag and the quicker he can get someone of that calibre in, the better.
In the meantime, United return to action at the weekend with a trip to struggling Sheffield United as they look for back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time this season.