Man Utd ‘will complete transfer’ as Sir Jim Ratcliffe puts contacts to good use | Football | Sport

Manchester United have reportedly approached OGC Nice defender Melvin Bard as part of the club’s plans to address the left-back injury crisis that has plagued this season. The Red Devils’ talks with Bard follow further claims that the club are guaranteed to sign a new left-back in the summer.

In March, Fabrizio Romano reported that Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS had a clear plan to add fresh blood to the position during their first transfer window in control of football operations.

Ratcliffe secured a 27.7 per cent stake in United a month earlier and has wasted no time building a new-look sporting hierarchy helmed by incoming chief executive Omar Berrada.

Dan Ashworth will arrive as sporting director once Newcastle United are satisfied with a compensation offer or he has served his gardening leave.

Jason Wilcox has also decided to join INEOS’ project, leaving his role as Southampton sporting director to become technical director at Old Trafford once he gets the green light.

But Ratcliffe is claimed to have utilised his and INEOS’ current contacts to identify a left-back target who could be the subject of a straightforward deal.

According to Standard Sport, United are in contact with Bard after establishing a new left-back as a priority this summer.

Luke Shaw has missed prolonged periods of the season due to the re-emergence of his injury issues, which have raised questions about his suitability as a first-choice option.

Meanwhile, Tyrell Malacia looks set to miss the entire campaign after a pre-season knee injury and an unsuccessful first surgery.

United signed Sergio Reguilon on loan from Tottenham Hotspur late in the summer before triggering a break clause in his contract to terminate the deal in January.

Shaw was ruled out again shortly after, though, leaving Erik ten Hag with no natural left-backs. Diogo Dalot, Victor Lindelof and Sofyan Amrabat are among those who have filled in.

The report adds that United had been considering right-back reinforcements during the winter before switching their focus to the other side of the defence.

Ratcliffe also owns Nice, and Bard has earned plaudits for his performances for the Ligue 1 outfit this term. He could receive his maiden France call-up at this summer’s European Championships.

The 23-year-old’s current contract expires in 2026, so sealing a transfer to United with two years left to run would benefit both INEOS clubs.

Ratcliffe’s plans to recruit another left-back draw uncertainty over the futures of Shaw and – more pressingly – the ever-absent Malacia.

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