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Sir Jim Ratcliffe eyes Ligue 1 star to replace Antony

Published: Updated: 13:07, 26 Dec 2023
Winter window is expected to see Manchester United go all-out to strengthen in many areas

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the new owner of Manchester United, is reportedly planning to leverage his connections in French football to secure Lyon star player, Rayan Cherki, for Old Trafford by 2024.

According to reports, Ratcliffe has expressed interest in bringing the 20-year-old French forward to Manchester United. The Red Devils have been keeping an eye on Cherki for some time now. However, it is believed that Ratcliffe's ownership of the French club Nice could provide a significant advantage over rival clubs vying for the young player's services.

In November last year, several reports reported that if Manchester United were keen on signing this talented player they would likely face stiff competition from Premier League club Newcastle United.

Cherki has demonstrated his versatility as a forward by playing various positions across the front line. This season alone he has played as an attacking midfielder and right winger. Despite not having scored any goals this season yet, he does have two assists under his belt.

The outlet suggests that "Cherki has mostly played in a No.10 position for Lyon this season but would likely be used on the right flank if he joins Man Utd." This shift would be due to Bruno Fernandes and Mason Mount already occupying central roles at Old Trafford.

United desperately need a solid right winger with Antony struggling, Sancho's controversy, and Greenwood's uncertain future

Despite calls from fans for Mason Greenwood's return from Getafe loan spell early into their new regime at Old Trafford, it seems unlikely that Ratcliffe and INEOS will want such PR complications so soon after taking over.

Furthermore, Jadon Sancho’s exile and probable sale along with Antony’s poor form have left Manchester United embarrassingly short of right-wing options ahead of winter transfer window opening up opportunities for new signings.

The club is reportedly on the lookout for new attacking threats and has been linked to strikers such as Timo Werner, Serhou Guirassy, and Donyell Malen. However, despite Ratcliffe's Christmas Eve Manchester United takeover announcement, it seems unlikely that club will have many funds available for immediate transfers.

Therefore, any potential move for Cherki may have to wait until the summer. This delay could provide an opportunity for other clubs to swoop in and secure his services before Manchester United can make their move.

While Sir Jim Ratcliffe's French connection might give Manchester United an edge in securing Rayan Cherki's services, there are still several hurdles to overcome before fans can see this young talent donning the famous red jersey at Old Trafford.

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