Manchester-born billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe ‘will bid’ for Manchester United after the club was formally put up for sale.
The Glazer family capped off a turbulent 24 hours for the Old Trafford side by announcing they are ‘exploring strategic alternatives’ for the club.
That includes hiring the Raine Group, who conducted Chelsea’s £2.5billion sale, with the Glazers confirming they are open to a full or partial sale of the club.
Ratcliffe has shown an interest in buying both United and fellow Premier League giants Chelsea, and is now expected to bid for the former, according to the Telegraph.
Born in Oldham, Greater Manchester, Ratcliffe is the owner of petrochemicals giant Ineos and also Ligue 1 football club OGC Nice.
With an estimated net worth of £23.4bn, the 70-year-old is one of the richest men in the UK, although he currently resides in the tax-free principality of Monaco.
Ratcliffe claims to have supported United since boyhood, later attending the victorious 1999 Champions League final win over Bayern Munich.
Ratcliffe failed with a bid to purchase Chelsea earlier this year, and said ‘Manchester United is not for sale’ when asked about why he wasn’t looking at his boyhood team.
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That situation has now changed though, with the Glazer family potentially set to end their unpopular 17-year tenure as owners of the English giants.
Reports claim the Americans are looking for as much as £5bn for one of the world’s grandest sporting institutions, with Ratcliffe already registering an interest when sale rumours surfaced during the summer.
Along with his ownership of Nice, Ratcliffe’s Ineos also possess a third of seven-time Formula 1 world champions Mercedes, and have a presence in cycling.