Man Utd face potential summer transfer budget blow amid 'unpaid tax talks'

Sir Jim Ratcliffe is planning a big summer at Manchester United but could be hampered.

Manchester United are holding talks with HMRC regarding potential unpaid tax, with reports suggesting it could affect their summer transfer plans.

New co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe is hoping to oversee a summer of major investment at United, following confirmation of his arrival as a minority shareholder. The Ineos chief has taken complete control of footballing operations, with a particular focus on making the squad competitive in the Premier League and Europe.

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To do so will require United to spend big once again in the summer but The i reports that plans could be affected by the prospect of a hefty tax bill. Talks are ongoing as to whether the correct amount was declared initially, and any gaps will need to be covered.

United are one of several Premier League clubs thought to be holding such talks as the UK tax authority attempts to claim back millions of pounds unpaid tax. The discussions are linked to arrangements with players and agents and almost £200million is thought to have been recouped over the past two years.

"We will continue to carefully scrutinise arrangements between clubs, players and agents to ensure the correct tax is paid," HMRC insisted recently. "We work closely with the football industry to educate and deal with tax risk head on."

United's summer budget could be reduced if a significant bill arrives through their door during a period in which profitability and sustainability rules (PSR) are being enforced more strictly than ever. Nottingham Forest were the latest club to be punished, having been docked four points and plunged into the relegation zone on Monday.

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They join Everton in being handed a significant points deduction as a result of breaching PSR, and the Merseyside club are facing a second charge while Manchester City remain under investigation after allegations of 115 breaches of competition rules. United have often cited PSR constraints as a barrier for the kind of spending some supporters have wanted to see.

Erik ten Hag has spent more than £400million since arriving in 2022 but both January windows have been hampered by financial concerns, with the only arrivals in either of the Dutchman's two mid-season windows coming on loan. Another busy summer is expected with reinforcements needed across the pitch, although there will be particular focus on centre-back and upfront.

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