Britain’s richest man Sir Jim Ratcliffe has shown interest in launching a takeover bid for Manchester United.
The 70-year-old UK tycoon, who is the founder and CEO of chemical giant Ineos, has an estimated net worth of £13.3 billion.
Sir Jim bought French club Nice for £91m in 2019 two years after purchasing Swiss team FC Lausanne-Sport and has entered the race to buy Manchester United after the owner put the club for sale.
The Red Devils were put up for sale by Avram and Joel Glazer back in November, although they are still waiting to find a suitable buyer for the club.
And according to the Times report, Ratcliffe has now confirmed that he is in the race to buy the Old Trafford club from the Americans.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe wants to buy Manchester United outright after he failed with a bid to buy Chelsea last May.
Manchester United’s despised owners Avram and Joel Glazer revealed their plans to sell the club for a price believed to be around £5bn before walking away from the Old Trafford club.
And Ratcliffe, who’s worth £15 billion, first revealed he was interested last summer.
A spokesperson back then said: “If the club is for sale, Jim is a potential buyer.
“If something like this was possible, we would be interested in talking with a view to long-term ownership.
“This is not about the money that has been spent or not spent.
“Jim is looking at what can be done now and, knowing how important the club is to the city, it feels like the time is right for a reset.”
The Times report states that bids are expected from the USA, the Middle East, and Asian sides, but the 70-year-old British tycoon, Ratcliffe is the first to publicly express his interest.
A spokesperson said: “We have formally put ourselves into the process.”
Formal offers for Manchester United takeover are set to come in at the beginning of February to change ownership before the end of the season.
Meanwhile, Sir Jim is a lifelong Manchester United fan, although he also has a season ticket at Stamford Bridge.
He recently said: ‘I am a season ticket holder at Chelsea, have been for years, although I’m a Manchester United fan. Or was!’
The 70-year-old businessman attempted to acquire Chelsea after he offered a last-minute £4.25billion bid for the London club but saw his late offer turned down as current owner Todd Boehly and his consortium took ownership of The Blues.
The British tycoon once announced that Manchester United have lost their way, and in 2019 slammed the club for their ‘shockingly poor’ managerial appointments and spending ‘dumb money’ on ‘players like Fred’.
However, a potential takeover, which would be delightful for United fans, can only materialize if the Glazers agree on a price suitable for the prospective owner, Ratcliffe.
The Old Trafford takeover would be another boost for United boss Erik ten Hag and his players with things now going smoothly on the pitch after Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure.
The Red Devils came from behind to beat Premier League rivals Manchester City on Saturday, January 14 to record a ninth consecutive win on the bounce and move into contention for the EPL title.
Manchester United will travel to clash with Crystal Palace today, Wednesday, January 18 before a rogue match against Premier League leaders Arsenal on Sunday, 22.