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Sir Jim sends a strong message to Man United’s board
It was an historical day at Manchester United because, after 16 years, Richard Arnold left his role as CEO of the club. This huge news can be seen as the first message from Sir Jim Ratcliffe – set to buy a 25% minority stake in the club – to the wider board at the club.
It’s really important to mention that Sir Jim Ratcliffe will have sporting control so will be able to bring people into United, and this is why Patrick Stewart is going to be the interim CEO.
A couple of days ago I told you Jean-Claude Blanc is the favourite to become the new CEO at Manchester United and I can confirm that the discussions are very positive.
Blanc obviously knows the INEOS group very well and is perfectly aligned with their ideas.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe is also still waiting for a final decision on the sporting director role with Paul Mitchell the favourite and discussions still ongoing.
Clearly Manchester United will be a work in progress over the next few months.
No contract talks for de Jong until 2024
Also guys, I wanted to clarify something on Frenkie de Jong’s contract because it’s important to say that Barcelona will not be extending any other contracts this year.
Not for the Dutchman, for Ronald Araujo or anyone else. It’s because of Financial Fair Play and so they’re not changing any salaries or any contracts in November and December.
This is the idea so, in 2024, Deco will be in contact with the agents of the players concerned. In fact, he’s already mentioned that he’s speaking to de Jong’s agents and Barça want to keep hold of him for sure.
He’s a crucial player as Laporta said many times, so the discussion will take place but it has to be 2024, not now.
He’s very happy in Barcelona, both with his private life and at the club, and at the moment, the situation is completely quiet around him.
Does Napoli sacking their manager change the position on Victor Osimhen?
Many of you have been asking me about Victor Osimhen in recent days because he mentioned Chelsea and Man United on a recent podcast, saying some friends supported the two teams.
But also guys, Napoli have changed the manager after a horrible beginning of the season for the new coach, Rudi Garcia, and despite them winning the title last season.
Napoli have appointed Walter Mazzarri, the former Watford and Inter manager who was also at Napoli as manager for four years between 2009 and 2013. Now, 10 years later, he’s back with the Partnopei.
The club haven’t changed their position on Osimhen despite only having a manager for the short term, and the club are still not in a position to sell him.
Their priority is to keep the player in January and to push again with the contract extension. Maybe the time to sell him could be in the summer…
In other news…
Casemiro – Currently I’m told it’s still quiet with regards to Saudi Pro League clubs and Casemiro. No concrete proposals or negotiations are taking place. We’ll have to see what happens in the summer, but it depends on a lot of factors including Saudi plans, Man United decisions and more. I think he’s still a very important player, but has just been unlucky with his injuries.
Juventus targets – They always appreciated Domenico Berardi from Sassuolo. He was already a target in August but the negotiation was difficult. Now Jadon Sancho is in the list but Berardi remains a player they really like and appreciate.
I don’t know the exact name of the midfielder that they’re after yet, it’s too early. Kalvin Phillips, Thomas Partey and other names being spoken about are too defensive. Juve actually want an offensive midfielder and it has to be a cheap deal, they’re not spending crazy money. I’d go for Rodrigo de Paul but Atlético Madrid consider him a key player, so not easy at all and also… he won’t come cheap.
Gabriel Moscardo – The cost for interested clubs to sign Moscardo will be around €25m from what I’m told. Chelsea wanted him in August but there was no formal approach to Corinthians. Now, 5-6 clubs from the UK and also Italy are interested, but nothing has been decided or advanced at this stage. For Barça, he’s too expensive as of now.
Nestory Irankunda – Really, all the big European clubs knew this boy very well. UK, German and Spanish clubs sent their scouts multiple times to watch him but credit to Bayern – they were super fast, efficient and concrete in their negotiations to make the deal happen.