Football Digest: Ratcliffe closes in on deal for 25% stake in Man Utd
Manchester United have been warned that they won’t find another Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane going cheap even if they secure the services of former Liverpool transfer chief Michael Edwards. Edwards spent 11 years at Anfield and worked his magic to help the club land a whole host of star players before his departure in 2022. He has since stepped away from the Premier League to launch his own consultancy company but has been tipped to link-up with the Red Devils if Sir Jim Ratcliffe completes a deal to buy 25 per cent of the club.
Edwards took Mane to Liverpool from Southampton after negotiating a bargain £34million deal for the forward in 2016, before convincing Roma to part ways with Salah for the same fee a year later. The 44-year-old was also influential in the deals that took Andy Robertson, Virgil van Dijk and Alisson to Anfield and is highly regarded by those at the top of the game.
But ex-Liverpool striker Stan Collymore doesn’t think Edwards would have the same success at Old Trafford. “I don’t think the Liverpool fans would care about Michael Edwards joining Manchester United in an executive role,” he told Lord Ping.
“It’s very different from a player swapping clubs and joining a rival. He also didn’t come out and say, ‘Liverpool’s my home, I’ll be here forever’. As long as Liverpool have got someone that is very good at recruiting players, then they won’t be interested in where Edwards goes.
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“It would be the same if it was the other way around and someone from United’s executive team joined Liverpool. Liverpool will think that they can recruit brilliant players without him.
“There isn’t one Svengali out there who has the Midas touch when it comes to player recruitment, there are several. I think Michael Edwards would do very well finding another pair of players like Salah and Mane for the £30-40 million pounds.”
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Edwards is believed to be just one of the names in the frame to lead transfer decisions at Old Trafford under Ratcliffe. But it remains to be see whether the United board will be happy to accept Ratcliffe’s investment.
Ratcliffe looks to be the most likely man to complete a deal for the Red Devils after presenting a £1.35bn bid in exchange for 25 per cent of the club. Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani, who had been another frontrunner, pulled out of the takeover process last week.
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