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Ineos should be concerned as £40m target questions Manchester United move

Earlier this month, after Champions League qualification became impossible for his Manchester United side, The red devils Boss Erik ten Hag admitted the club’s transfer plans would likely be hampered by a potential eighth place finish.

“Of course it’s important (to finish in the European places). But we have two opportunities. One in the league and one in the FA Cup final,” said Ten Hag, with Manchester United facing their worst finish in the Premier League but also preparing for a Man City rematch at Wembley.

“Certainly, (sticking the Champions League) will have an impact on the budget. But I’m sure Manchester United is a very attractive team and club to play for.

“A lot of players will be very happy to play for Manchester United, I’m sure.”

Off the pitch, United continue to prove that despite a decade of poor results, knocking The red devils remains hard to ignore. Dan Ashworth didn’t need to ask twice when he was offered the chance to leave Newcastle’s ambitious project for a key role in rebuilding Ineos.

Southampton have “reluctantly” allowed Jason Wilcox to also take up a technical director role at Old Trafford, while new CEO Omar Berrada hopes to replicate City’s success in the red half of Manchester.

Jean Clair Todibo of OGC Nice during the French Ligue 1 match between Paris Saint Germain and Nice at Parc des Princes on September 15, 2023,...
Photo by Eric Verhoeven/Soccrates/Getty Images

Ineos’ transformation to Manchester United is taking shape

On pitch, however, can the lure of that iconic red shirt survive the very real prospect of a season without European football of any kind, let alone the Champions League?

While reports insist Nice defender Jean-Clair Todibo remains keen on a move from one club led by Sir Jim Ratcliffe to another, comments he made to Get France Football News on Tuesday suggest that – despite those links with Ineos – a move to Old Trafford. it is far from a foregone conclusion.

“I want to win titles and play in the best European competitions,” potential £40m replacement Raphael Varene told Get France Football News, United will certainly not do the latter next season and it is unlikely to do the former either.

“These are my goals. I would also like to go to a club that will allow me to get better, allow me to progress on an individual level. That interests me. I am open to join any league honestly. I more or less look at every league and every one could appeal to me.

“I am not fixed in terms of the league to join. Could I flourish in the Premier League? Yes, I think so and I think I could flourish in any league. Is there a possibility that my odds are best matched with the Premier League? There is a chance, yes.

“(But European football) is on my mind. Going to such clubs allows you to play in the best European competitions. Playing in those European competitions allows you to be seen more and that gives you more guarantees for the French national team.

“That’s why leaving is on my mind.”

Ratcliffe, after confirming Ineos’ investment in Manchester United in December, spoke of the need for “time and patience”.

That is a message he may have sent not only to a fan base desperate for better days, but also to the players destined to usher in a new era at Old Trafford.

If Todibo is willing to risk a season without European football, he will be rewarded with Champions League action later, assuming Ineos can get The red devils back on track? That is the dilemma United’s top targets must weigh in their minds.

But after Ten Hag spoke of the negative effects that missing out on the Champions League could have on their budget, another year without a place at Europe’s top table won’t strengthen the club’s hand in terms of negotiations either.

United have an advantage to sign Todibo because of the Ineos connection, but if he is absolutely set on an offer of Champions League football elsewhere, he could slip away.

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