Sir Jim Ratcliffe identifies four positions for Man Utd to strengthen including 'Harry Kane-level' striker

INEOS chief Sir Jim Ratcliffe will take control of footballing operations at Man Utd once his investment is ratified.
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Sir Jim Ratcliffe wants a striker at the level of Harry Kane to be among four major signings for Manchester United this summer, according to reports.

Ratcliffe will hold a 25 per cent stake in United, once his £1billion investment is fully ratified by the Premier League. The INEOS chief will take complete control of the footballing operations at the club, including transfers.

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Alongside Sir Dave Brailsford, Jean-Claude Blanc and any other new hires, Ratcliffe will use the summer break to try and breathe life into a club that has been in decline for a decade. That plan will incorporate all aspects of United but the priority will be investment into the playing squad.

The Standard reports that four key areas have been identified by Ratcliffe, one of which is a world-class striker at a similar level to Kane. Erik ten Hag earmarked the England international as his prime target last summer but United never pushed hard amid concerns that Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy would not do business with a Premier League rival.

Any major arrival upfront will be expected to dovetail with Rasmus Hojlund, rather than usurp him instantly. The Danish international is yet to fulfil his £72m price-tag but is only 20 years old and has shown flashes of raw brilliance.

United also look set to splash the cash in central midfield and defence, with a no.8, a right-back and a centre-back on the summer shopping list. All three are positions Ten Hag has been keen to strengthen for some time.

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United remain weak in central midfield with £55m summer signing Mason Mount - currently out injured- underwhelming. Sofyan Amrabat has not impressed on loan and there are concerns regarding the longevity of Casemiro, who will be 32 next month.

There are also issues with the age profile in central defence, with three of United's five centre-backs aged 30 or above. Raphael Varane's contract expires in the summer and United have so far opted against a 12-month extension, while Jonny Evans is 36 and Harry Maguire was up for sale all summer.

United have two competent right-backs but neither Aaron Wan-Bissaka nor Diogo Dalot are a clear first-choice. Any incoming will likely see one leave and reports have linked Wan-Bissaka with a return to Crystal Palace.

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