Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s bid to takeover Manchester United is claimed to have been chosen as the preferred proposal.
Ratcliffe – owner of petro-chemicals firm Ineos and regarded as Britain’s richest man – has been among the most public suitors of Manchester United with the 70-year-old’s lead competition understood to come from Qatar’s Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani.
Each submitted final proposals ahead of the April 28th deadline, as the duo battle to replace the Glazer family in power at Old Trafford.
Reports had suggested that Ratcliffe is prepared to offer the current owners a chance to retain a partial stake and remain at the Red Devils in a reduced capacity, with The Sun reporting that Ratcliffe’s offer has been chosen as the preferred option.
It remains to be seen the legitimacy of these claims however, with rival outlets having made no comment on the selection of a preferred bidder and The Sun using only a small section of their back page to reveal their ‘exclusive’, on what will be the most expensive sale of a sports team in history.
News on the takeover is expected to accelerate in the coming weeks with the new owners keen to be in power before the start of the summer transfer window in June.
Qatar’s Sheikh Jassim is understood to hold no interest in a partial stake in the club and is seeking a complete takeover with his proposal.