Man Utd: Sir Jim Ratcliffe slams UEFA ruling as co-owner admits transfer concerns | Football | Sport

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has confirmed that UEFA have blocked Manchester United’s planned transfer pursuit of Nice defender Jean-Clair Todibo this summer. And the Red Devils co-owner has admitted that he isn’t confident of enjoying an entirely successful transfer window due to the size of the task at hand.

Ratcliffe and INEOS are already hard at work to bolster Erik ten Hag‘s squad at the start of their rule over football operations at Old Trafford.

United want fresh blood in midfield and attack, but a new centre-back is at the top of their shortlist, with Everton’s Jarrad Branthwaite the priority.

A £43m bid for the 21-year-old has already been rejected, but United are expected to return to the negotiation table to try and find a compromise on Everton’s £70m valuation.

INEOS will move on to alternative targets if they can’t reach an agreement with the Toffees, and Todibo emerged as a high-ranking fall-back option.

The 24-year-old is set to leave Nice – owned by INEOS – this summer and is thought to be available for around £34m.

He has naturally been strongly linked to United since Ratcliffe secured a 27.7 per cent stake in February, but that potential move is now off.

On Wednesday, Fabrizio Romano reported that UEFA had blocked the transfer because United and Nice will both be playing in the Europa League next season.

Other clubs, including Premier League champions Manchester City, have heavily utilised their multi-club models in the transfer market in recent years.

However, United and Nice both entering the Europa League is an issue for UEFA as the governing body battles to maintain the integrity of their competitions.

In a recent interview with Bloomberg, Ratcliffe confirmed the UEFA ruling but questioned the rationale behind the decision to allow Todibo to join another Premier League club instead.

“We have a player at Nice, I’m not going to say his name, who is really interested in joining Manchester United and who has the ability to be a Manchester United player,” Ratcliffe explained.

“They [UEFA] told us we can’t sell him to United. They’ve said we can sell him to another Premiership club, but we can’t sell to Manchester United. But that’s not fair on the player and I don’t see what that achieves.”

United have plenty to solve this summer – regarding incomings and outgoings – at the start of a new era under Ratcliffe and INEOS’ stewardship.

However, along with his Todibo frustration, the 71-year-old has admitted that he “isn’t confident” United will address all their issues this summer, sparking concerns over a rocky start to the new regime.

He said: “We’re sort of a bit handicapped in that sense, so I think we’ll do a fairly good job. It will take two or three summer windows to get to a better place.”

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