Man Utd 'identify' £35m Premier League star as bold first target of Sir Jim Ratcliffe era

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Sir Jim Ratcliffe is already planning for a major overhaul of the playing squad at Man Utd.

Manchester United are reportedly keen on making Michael Olise their first major signing of the Sir Jim Ratcliffe era. INEOS chief Ratcliffe will take charge of footballing operations once his investment into the club is ratified. He is not expecting to have much influence on the January window but is already laying the groundwork on a summer overhaul.

And The Standard reports that Crystal Palace star Olise is at the forefront of Ratcliffe's plans to improve United's attacking woes. The 22-year-old has been in excellent form at Selhurst Park, his five Premier League goals more than any or Erik ten Hag's current forwards.

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Olise looked set to join Chelsea in the summer after they activated his £35million release clause but the winger surprised many in opting to stay at Palace and sign a new four-year contract. That deal also has a new release clause which will come into effect in summer 2024.

It is not known exactly how much that clause is worth but it is expected to be significantly more than the original £35m clause. Other clubs will likely be interested in the French under-21 international who continues to impress in the capital.

Ratcliffe looks set to oversee a summer of major investment into the playing squad once his investment into the club, believed to be around £1.25billion, is confirmed. The 71-year-old must pass the Premier League's owners' and directors' test, which could take six to eight weeks.

Sir Dave Brailsford has been present around the club in recent weeks as he carries out an audit of the club's transfer structure. He is expected to be one of several new hires, with Richard Arnold already leaving his role as chief executive and sporting director John Murtough potentially to follow.

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Jean-Claude Blanc has also been involved in overseeing early changes, while Newcastle United sporting director Dan Ashworth is of interest to Ratcliffe and Brailsford. Current United chiefs have already suggested that they are expecting a quiet January, particularly regarding incomings.

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