Man Utd defender Victor Lindelof has become the first player to address Richard Arnold’s exit from the club ahead of Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s radical overhaul.
On Wednesday, United confirmed chief executive Arnold would be leaving Old Trafford after 16 years as Ineos founder Ratcliffe’s deal for a 25 per cent stake in the Red Devils nears completion.
Arnold will provide ‘transitional support’ until the end of December. He’s been in his current role since Ed Woodward’s departure in 2022.
In a statement published on United‘s official website, Arnold said: “It has been an incredible privilege to serve this great football club for the past 16 years.
“Through highs and lows, the constant has been the dedication of our employees and fans. I would like to thank all of them for their loyalty and commitment, and wish everyone associated with the club the very best for the future.”
United players are currently away on international duty and likely thought they’d have a break from the takeover chaos.
It’s been nearly a year since controversial owners, the Glazer family, confirmed they’d be open to selling.
The speculation has reportedly impacted Erik ten Hag‘s side on the pitch.
United are currently sixth in the Premier League after a run of four wins in five, although performances are unconvincing.
Lindelof, who scored the winner in Saturday’s 1-0 win over Luton Town, addressed Arnold’s departure during a press conference ahead of Sweden’s 3-0 defeat to Azerbaijan in a Euro 2024 qualifier.
The defender said: “I just received an SMS about it. He is a person I like very much. I think he did very well and represented the club in a nice way.
“It is sad that he has to leave. I’ll have to call or text him later to thank him in person.”
Lindelof is one of the longest-serving players at United after joining from Benfica in 2017. He’s featured 15 times in all competitions this term.
Among the names mentioned as part of Ratcliffe’s rebuild are Dougie Freedman, Paul Mitchell and Paolo Maldini.
Ratcliffe will reportedly turn to former United manager Sir Alex Ferguson as he looks to get the 20-time champions back to former glories.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe has spoken to Manchester United co-chairman Joel Glazer about two changes which will impact manager Erik ten Hag.
Ineos founder Ratcliffe is close to finalising a deal which will see him take a 25 per cent stake in United and control of the club’s sporting side.
The 71-year-old wants to overhaul United‘s sporting structure, including personnel changes.
Per the Manchester Evening News, Ratcliffe has spoken to Glazer on several video calls, with several names at risk.
Among them are current chief executive Richard Arnold and director of football John Murtough. Both members of the United hierarchy have risen through the ranks and hold prominent positions, working closely with Ten Hag on transfers.
Arnold has been at the club since 2007 but assumed the chief executive role following Ed Woodward’s departure in 2022.
Murtough, meanwhile, was appointed director of football in 2021 and is approaching his 10th anniversary of employment.
It wouldn’t be the first time Ratcliffe has overseen an overhaul at a football club.
Ineos currently own Ligue 1 outfit OGC Nice, who sit top of the league ahead of Paris Saint-Germain.
Last year saw Les Aiglons hire Fabrice Bocquet as chief executive in addition to Florent Ghisolfi as sporting director. Over the summer, Nice recruited smartly with several loans and focused on younger players.
It’s a tactic that’ll greatly excite Ten Hag, who recently defended the decision to shift his style of play since arriving in England.
He was criticised last month after suggesting he didn’t have the squad to play the way he did at former club Ajax.
Ten Hag later clarified his comments, stating: “The explanation from my point of view was totally wrong that I can’t play like Ajax because I have different players.
“I came here with my philosophy based on possession but also [I want] to combine it with the DNA of Manchester United and combine it with the competences and the characters of the players.
“We have seen what it was. We played very good football last season.”
United return to action against Copenhagen in the Champions League on Wednesday evening.