The UK’s richest man, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, has officially declared himself in the running to buy Manchester United.
The club have been on the market since November when the Glazers stated they were willing ‘to explore strategic alternatives’, which could include investment into the club or a full sale. Ratcliffe, who tried to buy Chelsea last year, has been repeatedly linked with buying United, but this is the first time he has officially confirmed his interest in bidding for his boyhood club.
A spokesperson for Ratcliffe told The Times: “We have formally put ourselves into the process.” The outlet add formal bids could begin next month and a full acquisition may cost in the region of £5billion. The Times add: “Bids are expected from the United States, the Middle East and Asia but Ratcliffe is the first to publicly confirm his interest.”
The declaration from Ratcliffe comes as speculation surrounding a takeover continues, in a month where United’s limited transfer funds have exposed the need for a quick resolution. However, ManchesterWorld have been told the Glazers could hold out until April or May in order to maximise the club’s sale price, which would increase if United qualify for the Champions League.
Meanwhile, the Red Devils have denied a new shop front in Davos is related to the sale of the club, although Avram Glazer is said to be flying to the Swiss ski resort this week. In a statement United said the shop was not intended to attract new buyers during the World Economic Forum.
And while the Glazers look closer to ending their 17-year ownership of United, it’s been reported there is interest in buying a Women’s IPL team, having previously invested in Desert Vipers, a cricket team based in Dubai.
“Having bought into the ILT20, it is natural for us to look into other cricket opportunities around the world, including Women’s IPL,” Phil Oliver, CEO of Desert Vipers told Cricbizz. “The distinction is important,” he added. “Avaram Glazer of Lancer Capital bid for an IPL team when it expanded last year. That company has bought a franchise in ILT20, Desert Viper, and Manchester United is not represented here."