Jim Ratcliffe’s potential Man Utd investment assessed | Football Digest
Paul Mitchell is reportedly at the top of Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s shortlist to become Manchester United’s new sporting director once INEOS complete their £1.4billion deal for 25 per cent of the club. The 42-year-old is available after leaving AS Monaco earlier this year and looks primed to become a key member of a revamped football department at Old Trafford.
Mitchell, from Stalybridge, is back home in the North West and is said to be interested in joining Sir Jim at the start of his project at United.
If his track record promises anything, it’s that he will prove to be a precious asset and a likely upgrade on current football director John Murtough.
Express Sport looks back on Mitchell’s six best signings across his spells at different clubs in Europe.
Sadio Mane will be remembered as one of the Premier League’s greatest-ever wingers for his impressive exploits at Liverpool.
And it was Mitchell who brought him to the country, recommending that Southampton sign him from RB Salzburg for just £10m in September 2014.
He shone at St Mary’s for two seasons before joining Liverpool in a £34m deal, going on to lift the Premier League and Champions League, among other major honours.
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Toby Alderweireld joined Mane in a memorable Southampton side under Mauricio Pochettino, who was largely helped by Mitchell’s eye for talent.
The Belgian centre-back joined on loan from Atletico Madrid in 2014 before joining Tottenham the following summer, months after Mitchell became the club’s chief scout.
He went down as one of Spurs best-ever defenders during his six-year term in north London.
Dele Alli’s career hasn’t gone the way anyone predicted when he burst onto the scene as one of Europe’s most exciting teenage midfielders.
His move from MK Dons to Tottenham in 2015 for just £5m was a masterstroke orchestrated by Mitchell.
And despite Alli not realising his incredible potential at Spurs, the Lilywhites still pocketed a potential £40m in his move to Everton in February 2022.
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Like Mane, Son Heung-min also arrived in the Premier League from relatively unknown beginnings in 2015.
The £22m Tottenham paid for him, at the recommendation of Mitchell, has proven to be a bargain. He struck up one of the country’s most deadly partnerships with Harry Kane.
Son is still thriving, aged 31, and inherited the Spurs captain’s armband from Hugo Lloris in the summer.
Tottenham signed Kieran Trippier from Burnley in the summer of 2015 – during a sensational second transfer window for Mitchell – and has gone on to establish himself as a very good Premier League right-back.
But Trippier has flourished into one of the world’s best full-backs, spending four seasons at Tottenham before joining Atletico Madrid.
After almost joining United, the 33-year-old became Newcastle United’s first signing under Saudi ownership and has been one of the Premier League’s best players this term.
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Mitchell left Tottenham for RB Leipzig in 2018. A year later, he pushed the signing of Christopher Nkunku from Paris Saint-Germain despite his underwhelming record of 11 goals in 78 games.
Nkunku was one of Europe’s most dangerous forwards in 2022, and in total recorded 70 goals and 56 assists in 172 appearances for the Bundesliga outfit.
Chelsea signed the Frenchman in a £52m deal this summer but are still anticipating his debut as he recovers from a long-term injury.
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