Sir Jim Ratcliffe copies Todd Boehly transfer plan as Man United plot Chelsea target swoop

Avram Glazer, Majority Owner of Manchester United and Jim Ratcliffe, Minority Shareholder of Manchester United look on during the Emirates FA Cup Semi Final match between Coventry City and Manchester United at Wembley Stadium on April 21, 2024
Ratcliffe copies Boehly transfer plan as Man United eye Chelsea target -Credit:Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Erik ten Hag only has a few more days on the training pitches before Manchester United return to action. Crystal Palace will welcome United to Selhurst Park on Monday evening as either side hopes to climb the Premier League table.

United will be determined to return to winning ways following a disappointing draw to Burnley last weekend. While a place in the top four is now mathematically impossible to achieve, the Reds will be keen to distance themselves from the likes of Newcastle, Chelsea and West Ham in the race for Europa League qualification.

As for the Eagles, they've been enjoying a rich vein of form under Oliver Glasner, who replaced Roy Hodgson in February. The Austrian has given Palace a new lease of life, with Jean-Philippe Mateta firing on all cylinders.

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In other news, the summer transfer window is just around the corner and United continue to be heavily linked with some big names. But, for now, it remains to be seen whether or not Sir Jim Ratcliffe will sanction a spending spree.

So, with that being said, the Manchester Evening News has taken a look at some of the biggest stories to come out of Old Trafford on Friday, May 3.

Ratcliffe chases Olise deal

United have been dealt a major boost to their hopes of signing Michael Olise. The 22-year-old winger almost joined Chelsea in the summer, but a move to Stamford Bridge courtesy of Todd Boehly collapsed when he opted to pen a new contract at Selhurst Park instead.

According to ESPN, Reds are leading the race to sign Olise, should he leave Crystal Palace at the end of the season. The report states that the France Under-21 international has a release clause in his deal that becomes active in the summer.

ESPN add that it remains unclear how much it would cost to sign Olise, though the figure is 'significantly higher' than the £35million clause in his previous contract. He's featured 16 times in the Premier League this term, scoring seven goals and providing four assists.

Manchester Evening News says: "If Olise's release is reasonably priced – lets says £65million at most – then Manchester United should absolutely go for him this summer. United need a new right-winger. It's a priority signing. Antony is just not good enough and Alejandro Garnacho looks more comfortable on the left."

Rabiot transfer reconsidered

Adrien Rabiot has suddenly re-emerged as a target for United, according to reports. The 29-year-old midfielder has been heavily linked with a move Old Trafford on numerous occasions in the past but a switch has never materialised.

Italian publication La Stampa, as quoted by Calciomercato, believe that the Reds have rekindled their interest in Rabiot. The France international sees his contract with Juventus expire in the summer, making him available via a free transfer.

After running his deal down in Turn last term, he signed one-year extension. The Mirror add that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer previously snubbed the chance to sign Rabiot during his spell in charge at United, with the question marks over the Frenchman's attitude.

Manchester Evening News says: "Manchester United shouldn't touch this deal with a barge pole. While the club would be signing Rabiot on the 'Bosman Ruling', he'd almost certainly demand an eye-watering sign-on fee – as would his mother, who's his agent – in addition to an inflated wage packet. High-profile free transfers are overrated."

Ratcliffe's net worth rockets

United supporters may have just been given a huge boost to their hopes of a spending spree this summer. Sir Jim Ratcliffe's fortunes have rocketed since securing a stake in the club earlier this year.

When the British billionaire first got his hands on the club his net worth stood at €18.3billion (£15.6bn). Towards the end of February, it fell to €17.5bn (£14.9bn) before reaching an incredible €21.8bn (£18.6bn) in April.

Fast forward to May and Ratcliffe is now worth €19.5bn (£16.6bn), according to the Bloomberg Index. For now, of course, it remains to be seen whether or not this will impact United's spending habits this summer.

Manchester Evening News says: "Not only does Ratcliffe know how to run a business, he's also a Manchester United supporter – which bodes incredibly well for the club. Not only will he hope to transform the club into a self-sufficient beast but he also seems determined to see his team win trophies again – and that will take considerable investment..."