Manchester United ‘will target Michael Olise and Jarrad Branthwaite this summer as Sir Jim Ratcliffe looks to overhaul their transfer policy and give manager Erik ten Hag LESS influence’
- Olise is admired by many clubs, while Everton value Branthwaite at around £100m
- Ratcliffe wants a more data-focused transfer policy, leaning less on Ten Hag
- An honor shot for a win, to apologize when you lose… When did it get like this? Listen to the It’s All Kicking Off podcast
Michael Olise and Jarrad Branthwaite are reportedly targets for Manchester United as Sir Jim Ratcliffe looks to revolutionize the club’s transfer policy – and reduce Erik ten Hag’s influence.
Ratcliffe wants to pursue a younger age profile and use a data-led approach, as is the case in his other sporting endeavors with INEOS.
Ten Hag is used to considerable swing over transfers, with the club landing former Ajax players Antony and Andre Onana during his tenure.
However, Ratciffe – who completed his £1.3bn buyout of a 25 per cent stake in the club in December – wants to transform football operations.
The i reports that Olise and Branthwaite are on United’s radar and that Ratcliffe has already met with the club’s data boffins with the aim of building ‘the best data platform in sport’.
Manchester United will target Michael Olise and Jarrad Branthwaite in the summer
Sir Jim Ratcliffe is keen to overhaul United’s transfer policy, with more focus on youth and data
Your browser does not support iframes.
United have already poached Manchester City’s Omar Berrada to be their new chief executive and director of data science. Dominic Jordan, who took up the role in 2022, said he expected his pitch to be ‘transformational’ for the team.
A source told the i: ‘Data is part of the DNA at Ineos, so it’s no surprise that it’s going to be a big part of what they do at Manchester United.’
It is clear that United’s current transfer approach, which often suits the preferences and allegiances of Ten Hag, has largely been a disaster.
The club signed Antony for £85.5m in August 2022 and pocketed £81.3m of that up front, which has translated into nine goals in 69 games – or, more starkly, one goal in 25 this campaign.
In July, they splashed another £47.1m on Inter Milan’s Onana, who has one of the best save percentages in the Premier League but has a habit of making disastrous mistakes.
While those signings have theoretically paid off, and perhaps still do, putting the demands of a new manager ahead of the longer view of the club is usually not conducive to long-term success.
Olise’s name is likely to come up as he is constantly being linked with top six clubs.
Erik ten Hag will have a reduced say in the club’s policy, which has so far accommodated his preferences
The club spent £85.5m on Antony and £47.1m on Andre Onana, who knew Ten Hag at Ajax.
Manchester City will reportedly compete for his signature in the summer, while Chelsea and Liverpool are eyeing the Crystal Palace star as recently as last month.
Jarrad Branthwaite is Everton’s prized defensive asset and they have reportedly slapped a £100m price tag on him to deter his admirers.
Whether United’s love for the 21-year-old extends to a nine-figure sum is yet to be revealed.
The Premier League has yet to ratify Ratcliffe’s investment in United, but from there it’s full steam ahead.
He has already made a noticeable effort to connect with players and staff, meeting them at Old Trafford and their Carrington training centre.
Ratcliffe and INEOS director of sport Sir Dave Brailsford was pictured last month with manager Ten Hag, as well as men’s striker Rasmus Hojlund and women’s players Millie Turner, Katie Zelem and Aoife Mannion.
Ratcliffe and Sir Dave Brailsford (right) were visible presence at United meeting staff advertising players
Brailsford and Ratcliffe met a number of first-teamers last month, including Rasmus Hojlund
Ratcliffe and Brailsford also met women’s team manager Marc Skinner, plus members of the club’s academy and performance staff during their visit.
They also went to Old Trafford for meetings with the wider club workforce and held an all-staff meeting when they were up and running at United.
It’s a much more hands-on approach than that of the Glazer family, who are furious about their absence from matches.