Britain’s second wealthiest man, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, is reportedly growing in confidence that he can soon agree a deal to buy out the Glazers’ controllling stake at Manchester United.
The Red Devils are up for sale with the increasingly-unpopular Glazers ready to call time on their reign. Having bought United for a mere £790m in 2005, they are looking to sell the club for a hugely-inflated figure.
And while performances off the field have soared, on the pitch, United are without a Premier League title now in 10 years. As such, a change will be thoroughly-welcomed throughout their fanbase.
Indeed, they value the club at somewhere between £6bn – £8bn according to reports. And while they will strugle to receive a figure north of their asking price, the process to acquire control is certainly heating up.
To that end, Ratcliffe’s INEOS, plus a group of Qatari investors, led by Sheikh Jassim, are believed to be the two main contenders.
And while the Glazers are still not entirely convinced about selling up, journalist Ben Jacobs has explained all the complexities surrounding any takeover.
However, it now seems Ratcliffe is growing in confidence that his bid will be the one that succeeds.
And according to the Daily Record, the British businesman has privately told friends he is ‘confident’ of a deal to take over at Old Trafford.
While the 70-year-old has previously tried to acquire Chelsea, Ratcliffe has always been a Man Utd fan. And now he has set his heart on securing ownership of the Red Devils.
Ratcliffe already has Man Utd transfer plans amid takeover talk
Indeed, he reckons his plans for United will win the day. And he is convinced that QSI’s plans for a multi-club network – that also includes PSG and Braga – will not be in their best interests.
Furthermore, Ratcliffe has previously vowed to put the ‘Manchester’ back into Manchester United if he gains control.
With the Raine Group, who are handling the takeover, granting both parties additional time, there currently remains no timeline on when a deal may be concluded.
However, there is a belief that all parties want the arrangement finalised before the summer window. And that will grant manager Erik Ten Hag additional funds with which to strengthen his squad this summer.
Per reports, Ratcliffe’s No 1 priority – and one that is shared by the current regime – is to tie Marcus Rashford down to a new deal.
The 25-year-old has flourished this season and will be among the contenders for Player of the Year having scored 27 goals in 44 games.
But with his deal due to expire next summer, United are in a hurry to tie the player to a bumper new deal. PSG are also keen on Rashford, but a new deal, likely to be worth £250,000 a week, with bonuses, will soon be agreed.
That equates to a payrise of at least £50,000 a week on his current arrangement and move him alongside their very top earners.
United prepare for £250m transfer influx
In addition, Ten Hag will be reportedly granted funds of around £250m to strengthen the side this summer.
And with those funds, Ten Hag wants to recruit a new striker, a midfielder and a defender.
Their primary target is understood to be Victor Osimhen and Ten Hag will be granted permission to pursue his signing at all costs. That could see United blowing close to half their budget on the Nigerian should Napoli hold out for £120m.
As far as a defender goes, the club are believed to have identified Monaco defender Axel Disasi. He can operate both at centre-half and a right-back and is therefore seen as a shrewd addition to the squad.
The question about a new midfielder perhaps remains the most intriguing. Ten Hag will continue to chase a big-name player there with moves for either Jude Bellingham, Frenkie de Jong or Declan Rice not yet ruled out.
But there are many moving parts still in play, such as those players’ personal choices, as well as funds Ten Hag will have left.
Furthermore, the United boss could look to offload a number of unwanted stars to further boost his kitty.
To that end, a recent report listed seven stars who will likely move on this summer to free up additional funds.