According to rumors, Sir Jim Ratcliffe will launch an offer to buy Manchester United after the Glazers indicated their intention to sell the club.
United’s US owners reiterated their willingness to sell in a startling statement on Tuesday night, emphasizing their intention to ‘explore strategic alternatives to boost the club’s growth.’
These options include ‘new investment into the club, a sale, or other deals,’ implying that the Glazers are suddenly willing to listen to proposals after 17 years at Old Trafford.
And, following the shocking announcement this week, Ratcliffe is preparing an offer for United, according to The Telegraph.
When rumors of a club sale first arose in the summer, the British millionaire who established chemical giant Ineos was among the first to express an interest.
However, the Glazers had no intention of selling up in Manchester at the moment, so Ratcliffe’s statement fell on deaf ears.
He is now preparing a new attempt after United’s unpopular owners stated they are open to offers, however, there are reservations about the likely asking price.
Ratcliffe is leery of overpaying amid rumors that the Glazers could seek at least £5 billion for their controlling holdings in United, with Raine Group brokers pushing for a price higher than the club’s inherent value.
The 70-year-old has dealt with Raine before, after his unsuccessful takeover offer at Chelsea in the summer, which failed because his proposal was presented too late after waiting for the price to decrease.
Nonetheless, his intention to buy United – the club he has supported since he was a child – is said to be serious, and Ineos are likely to have already done their due diligence on the Red Devils, given their policy of only taking over companies that can significantly increase in value after three years.
Ratcliffe and Ineos also control Nice in Ligue 1, although they would not be obligated to sell the French club if they bought United.
The two teams would only be barred from competing against each other in Europe under UEFA rules, which may not be an issue anytime soon considering Nice’s ninth-place finish in Ligue 1.
Another of Ineos’ football clubs is Lausanne, while the corporation has also invested in Formula One and cycling.
‘I met with Joel and Avram, and they are the kindest guys, and they don’t want to sell it,’ Ratcliffe said last month of his interest in United, a club he believes is not for sale.
‘If it had been for sale in the summer, we would have probably given it a shot, given the Chelsea situation.’ But we can’t wait for Manchester United to become available one day.’