What Man City insiders have told Rio Ferdinand about Man Utd's Omar Berrada move

Sir Jim Ratcliffe is said to have led talks ahead of his first major hire at Man Utd.
Rio FerdinandRio Ferdinand
Rio Ferdinand

Rio Ferdinand believes Omar Berrada could be one of Manchester United's best ever January signings after what he's heard from Manchester City insiders.

United announced the shock appointment of Berrada as the club's new chief executive officer on Saturday, having poached him from City where he was chief operating officer. The hire came two months after previous CEO Richard Arnold left his role in November.

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Berrada was, and still is, very highly though of at City and was widely expected to succeed Ferran Soriano. He played a major role in both commercial and on-pitch development at the Etihad, including brokering deals for the likes of Erling Haaland and Jack Grealish.

He will arrive at United with a long and distinguished CV and according to Ferdinand, people involved at City cannot believe that such a move has happened.

"I spoke to some guys who are at City - they can't believe we've got him," Ferdinand told his Vibe with Five podcast. "They think 'wow'. He's done so much in the game, at different levels. And he's been successful. And it's a really good, sharp signing for us. I think this could potentially be one of our best January signings, from the current climate especially."

Berrada had shown no signs of wanting to leave City and the news has come as a major surprise, but he was said to have been hugely impressed by the project put to him and the opportunity to stamp his mark on such a huge club.

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United moved quickly to secure the deal once the decision was made that they wanted Berrada and Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the club's newest investor, is thought to have led talks and INEOS were the driving force behind discussions, although Joel and Avram Glazer were both consulted.

Patrick Stewart has worked as United's interim CEO in the two months since Arnold's exit and he is expected to stay until Berrada starts. Reports have suggested that he has been out on gardening leave at the Etihad until after the summer window amid fears he could use the Premier League champion's secrets.

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