Home » New Manchester United Chief Executive Officer Omar Berrada used Harry Maguire as an example of how not to do transfer business

New Manchester United Chief Executive Officer Omar Berrada used Harry Maguire as an example of how not to do transfer business

by Alex Browne
Harry Maguire

Manchester United’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Omar Berrada, made telling comments in the past how not to do transfer business and he used Harry Maguire as an example.

Berrada is an incredibly well-respected executive and it was seen as quite a coup for INEOS when it was announced late on Saturday night that the club had officially convinced the executive to swap the blue side for the red side of the city.

It has been reported that the move is a potential “game changer” for the Red Devils and his football acumen was on full display when back in 2014 he shared an article on twitter (now X), that outlined the dangers of Glazers’ strategy of milking the club dry.

The American born CEO worked for Manchester City from 2011 until this year. Before, he had spent eight years at Barcelona. Therefore, United’s new executive has been involved in some great value transfers that have seen the Citizens become one of the most feared teams in Europe.

It has been relayed recently how important Berrada was in City’s pursuit of Erling Haaland and that deal is already a huge bargain after his avalanche of goals helped propel City to the treble last year.

Comments from an interview with The Manchester Evening News at the back end of 2020 have resurfaced online and they are not pleasant reading for United’s decision makers at the time or for Harry Maguire.

According to The Daily Star, Berrada revealed that City remained calm in their negotiations for centre back Ruben Dias even though it meant the season had already begun when the deal was completed. He also noted that City had “refused to be rushed into buying Maguire the season prior, believing he was not worth the £80 million United forked out for him in 2019 – a figure which has come back to haunt both the player and the Old Trafford hierarchy”.

The former City CFO stated, “when you make investments of that type [rushing to sign a player], when you get it wrong it has a significant impact over many years so we needed to get it [Dias’ transfer] right at the right valuation at the right time but more importantly for the right player”.

“In the same way that we didn’t rush into buying a centre-back last season after not wanting to sign Maguire for that valuation, this summer we had a very clear idea of what we wanted and fortunately we got the player we wanted at the valuation that we wanted”.

You don’t need to be a football finance expert to know that a major flaw of the Old Trafford side’s post-Ferguson era is panic buying players for an obscene amount of money.

Maguire is an obvious example but the £70m on Casemiro after chasing Frenkie de Jong all summer has already been flagged up by INEOS and they may even be willing to lose £20m to part ways with the midfielder.

Antony is another ludicrous example of panic overpaying for a player. Club scouts labelled the player as a £25m player but United went on to panic at the end of the 2022 window and pay an eye-watering £82.2m to get the deal over the line.

Whilst some have mentioned that it is embarrassing for the club that their brand new CEO has criticised the club in the past, the opposite can be understood. United don’t need a sycophant, they need someone who can articulate in a crystal clear way what is wrong with the club and put a plan into place to fix it. Berrada’s CV would suggest he can.

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