Benni McCarthy 'surprised' by Sir Jim Ratcliffe in private chat with Man Utd chief

Benni McCarthy was left surprised after a private conversation with Sir Jim Ratcliffe (Image: GETTY)

Benni McCarthy has admitted that he was surprised Sir Jim Ratcliffe knew his name during a private chat at Manchester United’s training ground. McCarthy has worked as an attacking coach for the Red Devils for the last two years but is out of contract and could leave Old Trafford this summer.

Earlier this week, McCarthy was invited onto South African radio station 947 Joburg to speak about his time at United. He reserved special praise for Ratcliffe, recalling a conversation they had when he was shocked the INEOS billionaire knew so many members of staff by name.

“I met him a few times because he’s very often at the training ground at Carrington, making waves, getting to know the people that work for the club, trying to help rebuild the club back to where it’s supposed to be at the top,” said McCarthy.

McCarthy was shocked that Ratcliffe seemed to know so many people by name (Image: GETTY)

“They are at the club quite a lot. He’s a very nice man, he seems to know people by name and that’s the very surprising part, you know? You have a conversation and he calls you by your name. I think that’s impressive.

“For a billionaire, he doesn’t have to bother getting to know my name or any of the staff if you’re not the manager but he does know our names and it’s quite refreshing. They show that much respect to the staff that work for them and I thought it was a really nice touch. ‘Benni, everything okay? How do you find this?’. It’s just nice.”

Addressing his contract situation, McCarthy said that he would love to stay at United but admitted that he did not know if he would be offered an extension to his current deal. He also expressed a desire to return to management, having previously had the top jobs at Cape Town City and AmaZulu in his native South Africa.

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“Every single day when I wake up and I go into the training ground, that is like the ultimate, it’s forever in my head, like imagine one day being the manager, imagine one day coaching this great team,” he added.

“The desire, the hunger is out there, but obviously my role is a first-team coach working with the attacking players. Then that quickly kicks in, and then you go, you do your duties and now the season’s over.

“I absolutely adore and I love my role, I love working for Manchester United, but obviously the itchiness, the desire, the hunger, to be a coach, to be a manager, to be the man in charge making the decisions, of course, that’s always there and I don’t think it will ever go away. Once you get that back then it always comes back.

“So my time here, if it is the end, like my contract is coming to an end now in June, and if the club wants me to continue and in the role that I have, I will be grateful and it will be amazing. But yeah, I would miss having to wait another year or two years, however long it would be that the club would want me to stay.”