The takeover of Man United continues to rumble on longer than it should as it looks increasingly unlikely that the Glazers will leave the club anytime soon.
Britain’s Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim of Qatar are the two leading contenders to takeover the Premier League giants but it is the former who is now considering whether to buy a 25% minority stake in Man United, as Sky News first reported.
It has proven to be difficult for the two parties to convince the Glazer family to part ways with the Manchester club and Ratcliffe thinks buying a small stake could eventually lead to a full takeover.
A 25% stake could cost as high as £1.5bn and would involve Ratcliffe buying an equal amount of class A and B shares, which crucially would remove the risk of litigation.
Writing in his exclusive CaughtOffside column, journalist Ben Jacobs states that sources close to INEOS still insist Ratcliffe eventually wants control, but taking a minority stake first may break the impasse and make getting it a more prolonged process. The Englishman is willing to be patient and try to win the race for the club further down the line.
Sheikh Jassim still wants 100% ownership of the Premier League club but his Nine Two Foundation bid is all or nothing.
The Glazers and Ratcliffe will be aware of the backlash coming their way if this deal plays out as Man United fans have had enough of the American owners and want them gone as soon as possible.