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Manchester United: Sir Jim Ratcliffe has ‘vision’ for Premier League giants, says Harry Maguire

Manchester United defender Harry Maguire says Sir Jim Ratcliffe has a “vision” which will take the club “back in the right direction”, adding that his team-mates wanted to “fight for the badge” after a meeting with the billionaire’s performance guru, Sir David Brailsford.

Speaking on the day when the Football Association and Premier League ratified the deal for Ratcliffe’s Ineos group to buy a 25% stake in United and take over football operations, Maguire predicted the businessman would help the club to challenge for the Premier League title again and said the agreement has led to an improvement in the atmosphere at training.

“There’s a positive energy around the place, a good intensity,” Maguire told Sky Sports News, describing the understanding the players had been given by Ratcliffe and Brailsford of “the way they want to work, the way they see the club and where they want to take us.”

“Ineos have come in, Sir Jim, and I’m sure he’s going to have a big positive effect on this club.

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“As a player, I want this club to be successful and I’m sure he’s going to play a big part in getting this club back to where it should be.

“It’s been a tough few years because the expectation is to challenge for the biggest trophies and at the top of the Premier League.

“We haven’t done that enough during the last 10 years and I’m sure he’s got a vision in what he sees and wants from this club. I’m sure he’ll move it in the right direction.”

Sir Jim Ratcliffe Manchester United takeover: Players ‘really impressed’

United have not won the Premier League since Sir Alex Ferguson’s final season in charge in 2012/13, finishing outside of the top four in five of their 10 campaigns since the departure of the most successful manager in their history and rarely resembling credible challengers.

An Fa Cup win, two Carabao Cup trophies and Uefa Europa League glory in 2017 have represented a relatively sparse haul of honours over the past 11 years.

Erik ten Hag’s second season in charge began in dismal fashion, losing nine of their 20 Premier League matches and crashing out of Europe by finishing bottom of their Champions League group.

Ten Hag has overseen an unbeaten start to the calendar year but United remain sixth, five points shy of the fifth spot which is likely to ensure qualification for the Champions League next season.

Current league leaders Liverpool will match their record of 20 top-flight titles if they triumph in Jurgen Klopp’s final season in charge, and Maguire, who was out of favour with Ten Hag at the start of 2023/24, has been among the players to face scrutiny, having turned down a move to West Ham in August.

Credited with transforming British cycling, Ineos director of sport Brailsford is taking a key role in reviving United’s fortunes as part of a three-person football committee and has held discussions with Ten Hag and his players.

“The lads came out of the meeting really impressed by how he spoke,” said Maguire. “It gave us great motivation for everyone in the room to want to fight for the badge and for this club, and to stay on this journey with everybody involved.

“It’s exciting times for that club because he’s brought that fresh energy. He’ll move the club in the right direction.”

Ratcliffe has paid more than £1 billion for his stake.

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