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Britain's richest man Sir Jim Ratcliffe has confirmed he is in the running to buy Manchester United from the Glazers.
The Ineos chief was an interested party in the sale of Chelsea last year but is now entering the race for his boyhood club United, who were put on the market by their unpopular American owners at the back end of 2022.
“We have formally put ourselves into the process,” a spokesman for the petrochemicals billionaire told The Times on Tuesday (January 17). Ratcliffe is the first party to publicly confirm his interest, although there's expected to be offers from around the globe when the bidding officially gets underway in the coming weeks.
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It's anticipated a deal could be completed by the end of the season. The Glazer family announced in November they were “commencing a process to explore strategic alternatives” for United, suggesting either a full sale or new investment.
Since their takeover in 2005, they've been a constant source of frustration amongst the Red Devils fanbase, with repeated protests taking place in recent years.
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They're believed to be seeking a figure in excess of £5billion to part ways for good, an achievable sum for Ratcliffe, who tops Britain's rich list with an estimated net worth of £12.6bn, according to Forbes.
The 70-year-old already owns Ligue 1 club Nice, whom he bought in 2019 for a comparatively meager reported fee of £88million.
He made a bid when Chelsea were up for grabs but had left it too late to beat the Todd Boehly-led consortium, and then met with Joel and Avram Glazer later in the year before they put United up for sale.
Other parties have also made contact Joe Ravitch, co-founder and partner of Raine, the merchant bank who have been tasked with overseeing the process, with more bidders set to come to light in the near future.
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