Sir Jim Ratcliffe has been told eight words that will test his Manchester United authority

"I set requirements in advance about how I want to work," Erik ten Hag told a Dutch newspaper following his appointment as Manchester United manager in the spring of 2022.

"If they aren't granted, I won't do it. I am ultimately responsible and accounted for the results. I don't want to be the sole ruler, I stand for cooperation, but control in transfers is a condition for me."

The final eight words of those quotes regarding influencing transfers are fascinating now Ten Hag is working under a football structure created by Sir Jim Ratcliffe. To repeat them: Control in transfers is a condition for me.

Ten Hag has spent over £400million in two summer transfer windows and his fingerprints are all over the United squad, but recruitment will be different going forward.

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Ten Hag signed Tyrell Malacia, Christian Eriksen, Lisandro Martinez, Antony and Casemiro on permanent deals in his first summer in charge at Old Trafford. Mason Mount, Andre Onana, Rasmus Hojlund, Altay Bayindir and Jonny Evans were signed permanently last summer.

Six of the ten players permanently signed on Ten Hag's watch have Eredivisie pedigree. It quickly became clear he had a preference for players he'd previously seen up close and it must be remembered that Frenkie de Jong was his priority midfield target, not Casemiro.

Casemiro's decline has been remarkable over the last 12 months, but the Brazilian's first season was a resounding success and United needed his defensive discipline in midfield. De Jong wouldn't have worked at United because the midfield would have continued to be too lightweight.

Although he missed out on De Jong, Ten Hag has been given a large degree of influence over transfers and recruitment is still hit and miss, which emphasises why it's time for a change. United remain in talks to appoint Dan Ashworth as sporting director and he will oversee transfers.

Ashworth is still on gardening leave amid negotiations with Newcastle and won't be in the building to help with this summer's recruitment, but Omar Berrada will begin work as CEO imminently and Jason Wilcox, who is having a greater say in transfers for now, was appointed technical director in April.

United have previously signed players for their manager and not the club. INEOS' new structure is changing that approach and recruitment will be aligned with the club's philosophy.

A manager at an elite club should be guided by the sporting director, not given everything he wants in the sweet shop, although that's not to suggest Ten Hag, who currently has a veto on transfers written into his contract, should have completely no say on transfers.

It's only healthy for a manager to be consulted on signings, but whether Ten Hag still has a veto included in his new United contract once it's signed remains to be seen.

United have opened contract talks with Ten Hag after deciding he would remain in charge and it's understood the Dutchman is reluctant to cede too much power over transfers.

Ratcliffe has decided United's incoming sporting director will lead on recruitment and the head coach will then report to him. Ratcliffe has also appointed Wilcox to draw up a 'game model' for a playing style to be implemented across the club, from the first-team to the academy.

Sources have indicated there is a genuine desire on both sides to find some middle ground in contract negotiations but how much power Ten Hag will give up is interesting.

United have spent over £1billion on transfers in the last 10 years and the scattergun recruitment strategy clearly hasn't worked. Ten Hag will argue his signings have been a success and will be reluctant to give up transfer influence but that is the best outcome for United.

When he was appointed, Ten Hag didn't mince his words when discussing how important having control over transfers was, but he is in a weaker position in 2024 than in 2022, considering how poor last season was and that a new regime has implemented structural changes.

It seems inevitable Ten Hag will be forced to compromise. That is what's best for the club.