Despite endless calls from supporters for them to commit to a full sale, they are only going to part with 25 per cent of their shares, selling them to INEOS. The chemical giant, governed by British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe, is understood to be on the cusp of sealing a deal that will secure a minority stake in the club.
Though the Glazers are going to retain overall control, INEOS, according to widespread reports, are set to secure control of football operations at Old Trafford. Richard Arnold&aposs exit as chief executive last week provided the clearest indication yet that big changes are in the offing.
Vastly-experienced Frenchman Jean-Claude Blanc has been linked with replacing Arnold as CEO, while recruitment guru Paul Mitchell has been touted to become the club&aposs sporting director. It is already clear that INEOS want to fill United&aposs hierarchy with football specialists.
Though INEOS are poised to acquire just a 25 per cent stake in the club, they are not coming to Old Trafford to be the Glazers&apos puppet. They want to lay down an immediate marker, through both investment and decision making.
One of their biggest objectives, quite rightly, will be to improve United&aposs on-field performance, with a view to the club wrapping its hands around the Champions League trophy again. Though anything can happen in football, United are a long way from achieving that dream at this moment in time.
But in a bid to put the wheels in motion towards achieving that ambition, INEOS are going to have to dive deep into their pockets to improve the standard of Erik ten Hag&aposs squad. Though the Dutchman has been backed with more than 400million worth of spending since July last year, the squad is still a long way from being the finished article.
As reported by the Manchester Evening News in September, United have provisionally identified four areas that they intend to strengthen next summer, in preparation for the 2024/25 season. They want to recruit a new full-back, almost certainly for the right side of the defence, a centre-back, a central midfielder and an attacker. You could argue that each of those four areas need strengthening for the first XI, not just the squad as a whole.
United desperately need to put a long-term option in place at right-back. Diogo Dalot and Aaron Wan-Bissaka have shared the void this calendar year, meaning it is often hard to identify who Ten Hag&aposs preferred option is. United have held talks with Jeremie Frimpong&aposs entourage this year and he would be a logical contender to become the Reds&apos new first-choice right-back.
Just as important will be strengthening at centre-back given Raphael Varane&aposs recent reduction in minutes, Harry Maguire&aposs long-term suitability, Victor Lindelof&aposs hunger for more minutes and Jonny Evans soon turning 36. Lisandro Martinez is one of just five centre-backs on United&aposs books who is expected to have a long-term future at the club.
Nice&aposs Jean-Clair Todibo has been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford in recent months, and considering INEOS own the club he currently plays for, it would be no surprise to see United push hard for his signature. At the age of 23, he, like Frimpong, would be another long-term addition.
United are also planning to pursue the addition of at least one new midfielder for the third summer running under Ten Hag. Casemiro has regressed so far this season, meaning he may need replacing, but United will have the option to turn Sofyan Amrabat&aposs loan move from Fiorentina into a permanent deal.
Presuming an out-and-out defensive midfielder is what they will go in search of, more names are likely to come to the fore in the coming months. Joao Neves of Benfica has been closely linked with a move to M16, though.
The Reds will almost certainly look to add another winger to their ranks sooner rather than later, not least to cover the expected departure of Jadon Sancho. He is widely expected to leave as soon as January after being frozen out by Ten Hag.