Sir Jim Ratcliffe considers new strategy to secure world-record Man Utd takeover

Sir Jim Ratcliffe could team up with another party in an effort to match Manchester United takeover rival Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani, it’s been claimed.

The British billionaire, 70, remains locked in a battle with Al Thani and up to six other interested parties as they approach Wednesday’s 9pm deadline for fresh bids. Ratcliffe, through his petrochemical company, INEOS, and the Qatari banker are both believed to have made initial offers worth around £4.5billion in February, but current owners the Glazer family are holding out for a world-record £5bn sale.

Unlike Al Thani, Ratcliffe personally made the journey to Manchester last Friday to hold detailed talks with United officials and his entourage impressed club chiefs with their sporting expertise. Mirror Football understands that Sheikh Jassim will on Wednesday launch a huge £5.5bn follow-up offer in an attempt to blow his opponent out the water – but Ratcliffe may have a trick up his sleeve.

According to the Daily Mail, United’s would-be owner is considering linking up with one of the aforementioned other parties in order to edge Al Thani and win the keys to Old Trafford. US hedge fund Elliott Management are reportedly open to financing any takeover and Bloomberg claimed more than a month ago that Ratcliffe had lined up banks including Goldman Sachs to bankroll his pursuit.

Although it’s unknown whether any are involved in the 70-year-old’s bid, the banks would reportedly be prepared to back a takeover offer through bonds and loans to cover United’s existing debt, which currently stands at just below £515million. Ratcliffe has already made it clear to the Glazers that he won’t pay “stupid” money to buy the club who he’s supported since his childhood.

sir jim ratcliffe considers new strategy to secure world-record man utd takeover

Sir Jim Ratcliffe made a visit to Old Trafford last Friday to hold talks with Manchester United executives

Have your say! Who’d be better for Man Utd – Ratcliffe or Al Thani? Let us know in the comments section.

Ratcliffe, who already owns France side Nice through INEOS, also noted the difference between his pursuit of United and the company’s other investments. “That in a sense goes without saying, because sport is emotional,” he affirmed.

Although renowned for his business acumen, Ratcliffe – who attended United’s famous 1999 Champions League final victory at the Camp Nou – views the 20-time English champions as a “community asset” rather than a financial one. He also declared: “Our interest in that club would be purely in winning things.”

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