Sir Jim Ratcliffe targets Ross Barkley as potential Casemiro replacement at Manchester United
Posted by  badge Boss on Feb 25
Ross Barkley is a surprise name on Manchester United’s shortlist (Getty)

New co-owner is lining a surprise move for Town midfielder Ross Barkley, according to reports.

Ratcliffe officially completed his partial takeover of United this week and the petrochemicals billionaire .

Casemiro and Christian Eriksen have already been linked with a move away from Old Trafford at the end of the season, with United keen to reduce their wage bill in order to ease Financial Fair Play restrictions .

Casemiro, who is United’s highest earner on £350,000 a week, has already attracted interest from the Saudi Pro League.

And according to , Ratcliffe has identified Barkley as a potential signing to bolster United’s midfield.

The report adds that both Ratcliffe and INEOS director of sport Sir Dave Brailsford are both huge admirers of Barkley from their time together at Ligue 1 side Nice.

Casemiro has been tipped to leave Manchester United this summer (Reuters)

Barkley spent last season at Nice before joining Luton Town on a free transfer last August.

Since retuning to the Premier League, Barkley has been one of the league’s standout midfielders and will play a crucial role in Luton’s bid to avoid relegation this term.

Speaking earlier this month, former Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas, who spent a year alongside Barkley at Stamford Bridge, praised the 30-year-old for his impact at Luton.

‘He’s playing at a fantastic level,’ he told the BBC’s Planet Premier League podcast.

‘I’m very happy for him because he lost his way a little bit. He lost his confidence and now he’s back at it.

‘He took maybe two steps backward to be able to perform again at the level that that he knows he can. You always need a player like this.

‘And he’s surrounded by good players but solid players defensively so he can also have this license to go forward as we see, even if he plays in a double pivot and needs to be a little bit more responsible than he used to be in his early days.

‘But, they always saw Ross as a number eight, more box-to-box. It’s true that now as a number six physically he’s a machine.

‘I think physically he’s one of the best players, but the personality that he plays with I think is the standout for this Luton side.

‘To play with players of this personality gives them this one or two seconds extra of possession on the ball that makes things happen, makes this team tick.

‘They cannot be 90 minutes defending, especially against teams like Man United, Man City. You need to hold on to the ball a little bit to create something and to give air to your teammates.

‘He’s the guy to do it and he’s doing it very well.’

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