Midfielder could snub Champions League football to join Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s Man Utd

OGC Nice owner Jim Ratcliffe before the match.

Ross Barkley has already played for OGC Nice, a club owned by Sir Jim Ratcliffe REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

Luton Town midfielder Ross Barkley is reportedly waiting to see if Manchester United will knock on his doors before considering an approach from Aston Villa.

In terms of midfield performances, Manchester United were underwhelming this season. Casemiro failed to repeat the form of his debut campaign that swiftly made him a fan favourite. Mason Mount, meanwhile, struggled to find his feet in his maiden season at Old Trafford.

Further, injuries and lack of visionary tactics have meant that save for Kobbie Mainoo’s consistent brilliance, United are left looking for further investments in the middle of the park.

In that respect, the side has an interesting option to choose from.

According to The Sun’s Alan Nixon (via United In Focus), Ross Barkley has held talks with Aston Villa but he is ‘holding on’ for Manchester United, as he waits to see if they turn their early interest into a more solid offer.

The 30-year-old midfielder previously played under the Sir Jim Ratcliffe ownership at Nice and it seems he prefers a reunion with SJR at United.

It is claimed Aston Villa are keen on signing Barkley. This speaks volumes about United’s brand as they potentially have no European football to offer new signings next campaign even as Unai Emery’s side boast attractive Champions League football.

Having said that, United might consider such an offer seriously after all. While the likes of Barkley certainly won’t make headlines or break records, it is the precise sort of transfer that the Red Devils can realistically afford in view of FFP restrictions.

Moreover, the Englishman brings with him the kind of experience that could prove valuable in an overhauled squad.