The wait is finally over for Manchester United fans, with Sir Jim Ratcliffe officially completing a 25% takeover of the club in a saga that seemingly lasted forever.
What many predicted would be a swift process lasted 13 months from the initial announcement, with INEOS now taking control of the club’s footballing operations and adding to their portfolio in football which includes Swiss side FC Lausanne–Sport and – notably – Ligue 1 outfit OGC Nice.
While United fans are delighted that the Glazers’ grip on the club is fading, uncertainty surrounds the new minority owner and his group. We’ve taken a look at Nice’s seven record signings under Ratcliffe’s control and how they’ve fared since.
7. Alexis Claude-Maurice
Signed in the final days of the summer transfer window in 2019, Claude-Maurice was one of several signings the INEOS group managed to get over the line days after their takeover.
Now 25, the French forward has found his feet as a rotation arm at Les Algions after a slow start derailed by injuries, prompting a loan move to Lens in 2022-23.
6. Gaetan Laborde
A familiar face to French football fans, Laborde did most of his scoring with Montpellier before a brief stint with Rennes in 2021-22, but signed for Nice at the end of his first and only season in Brittany.
The 29-year-old has managed 19 goals and five assists to date in 65 appearances thus far for Nice, but has struggled for a scoring touch so far this season with just three to his name in Ligue 1.
— Ligue 1 Uber Eats (@Ligue1UberEats) December 11, 2023
5. Calvin Stengs
Arriving to Nice in 2021 with immense promise despite an injury layoff at AZ Alkmaar, the French side parted with around £13.2million all in to secure the talented young winger.
He never quite got going in Ligue 1, though, and after a successful loan spell with Antwerp in his second season where he won the league, he moved to Feyenoord for just €6million this summer.
Since returning to the Netherlands, Stengs has been on fire and racked up seven goals and nine assists from just 23 appearances so far this season. A rare miss for Nice.
4. Jeremie Boga
A recent acquisition, Nice parted with around £15.8million to pry Boga away from Atalanta in the summer of 2023.
It’s been a promising start to life in France for the Ivory Coast international with five goal contributions from his first 15 Ligue 1 games. He’s also wowed with some pretty handy dribbling. A player that gets you off your seat, we see the 26-year-old settling in Nice.
3. Kasper Dolberg
Signed on the same day as Claude-Maurice, Ratcliffe’s Nice splashed a then-club record £18million to sign Dolberg from Ajax in 2019, who was 21 at the time and regarded as one of the hottest striker prospects in Europe.
Dolberg started strongly in the south of France, finishing his first season as the club’s top scorer with 11 goals and winning their Player of the Season award. Things quickly fizzled out, though, and after two failed loan spells to Sevilla and Hoffenheim, he was sold to Anderlecht in 2023, where he’s finally began to recover his form.
2. Sofiane Diop
After a bright start to his career at Monaco, their rivals Nice coughed up just shy of £19.4million to pry Diop across the south of France to continue his development at the Allianz Riviera.
Evidently keen on capturing young talent early on in their careers, the INEOS group are still waiting for investment in Diop to truly catch fire, but he’s shown glimpses of his best stuff so far.
Strikers instincts! ✨
Pau López can only parry the ball into the path of Sofiane Diop who is quick to score for Nice. pic.twitter.com/WWXv26ASyC
— Football on TNT Sports (@footballontnt) February 5, 2023
1. Terem Moffi
Ratcliffe’s most expensive signing to date at Nice came this summer, when the club paid €30million/£19.8million to sign Moffi from Lorient, following a loan with an obligation which began in January.
At just 24, Moffi has the world at his feet and already has eight goals and assists combined from 16 Ligue 1 games this season. The 24-year-old is off to a very strong start, but most avoid falling to the same fate as Dolberg.