Manchester United’s second season under manager Erik ten Hag has been disrupted by injury and poor form, leaving the club tottering in both the Champions League and Premier League.
The Red Devils will have to depend on other results on the final matchday of the group stage while it will be a tough ask to finish in the top four after a difficult start to the campaign.
The continued absence of World Cup winner Lisandro Martinez and the uncertainty surrounding the future of Raphael Varane has meant United have struggled to hold on to leads in Europe with the Reds conceding the second-most goals among the 32 teams.
The club have also struggled in front of goal, scoring the lowest goals among the top 12 in the Premier League. New signing Rasmus Hojlund has failed to open his account domestically.
United need a new CB and striker
The 20-time English league champions must strengthen in both areas but it might not be possible in January due to Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s entry as a minority shareholder getting delayed.
He is expected to take control of sporting matters once his offer is ratified and United’s transfer approach might change as has been indicated in a previous report from The Peoples Person.
The INEOS chairman is set to bring in new people behind the scenes with Director of Football John Murtough expected to join former CEO Richard Arnold on the list of people to be relieved of their duties.
As The Daily Mail pointed out, the British billionaire plans to focus on British players or players with prior experience of playing in England, a tactic used to great effect by the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson.
Former manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer also tried to repeat that trick with the signings of Daniel James, Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, and Jadon Sancho but not all signings have proved to be efficient.
Among the names that Ratcliffe wants to bring to Old Trafford are Brentford striker Ivan Toney and Crystal Palace defender Marc Guehi.
“And while United’s transfer policy under INEOS will ultimately dictated by financial limitations, there is a will from Ratcliffe to buy British.
“The fact prospective signings have already experienced the rigours of English football is viewed as a key reason why INEOS feel buying British would be beneficial.
Ratcliffe’s British targets
“United are currently among the clubs closely monitoring Brentford striker Ivan Toney ahead of the next two transfer windows.
“United are also interested in Crystal Palace centre-back Marc Guehi, but the England defender is unlikely to be available until the summer and will cost a minimum £60 million.”
The Bees hitman is currently banned but his exploits for the London side have meant the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal are also in the race.
The Eagles defender, on the other hand, wants to prove himself in the Euros first before agreeing to move to pastures new.
Till now, Ten Hag has insisted on bringing in talents from the Eredivisie, a tactic that has polarised pundits and fans alike with very few signings working out to date.
It will be interesting to see how this dynamic works if at all it does. Can Ten Hag work within this confines or will the search widen along with time?