UK’s richest man Sir Jim Ratcliffe formally launches Man Utd takeover attempt as he says ‘we have entered the process’

THE UK’S richest man Sir Jim Ratcliffe has entered the race to buy Manchester United, according to reports.

The Old Trafford club were put up for sale by the Glazers back in November, although they’re still waiting to find a suitable buyer.

AFPSir Jim Ratcliffe has entered the race to buy Manchester United[/caption]

AFPJoel and Avram Glazer put the club up for sale back in November[/caption]

GettyManchester United fans have regularly protested against the owners[/caption]

But The Times have claimed that Ratcliffe has now confirmed that he’s in the running to takeover from the Americans.

The report states that bids are expected from the US, the Middle East and Asia, but the 70-year-old is the first to publicly express his interest.

A spokesperson said: “We have formally put ourselves into the process.”

Formal bids are set to take place at the beginning of February with a view to changing the owners before the end of the season.

But a potential takeover, which would be music to the ears of United fans, can only happen if the Glazers agree on a price.

And they’re thought to be looking for more than £5billion.

Ratcliffe, who’s worth £15billion, first revealed he was interested last summer.

A spokesperson back then said: “If the club is for sale, Jim is definitely a potential buyer.

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“If something like this was possible, we would be interested in talking with a view to long-term ownership.

“This is not about the money that has been spent or not spent.

“Jim is looking at what can be done now and, knowing how important the club is to the city, it feels like the time is right for a reset.”

Ratcliffe is a petrochemicals tycoon who at his peak was worth around £21billion.

He runs multi-billion-pound chemicals giant Ineos, which owns French club Nice, Swiss side Lausanne, plus a third of Formula One team Mercedes.

This comes less than two months after the Red Devils were put up for sale.

A takeover would be another boost to Erik ten Hag and Co with things going swimmingly on the pitch.

United came from behind to beat rivals Manchester City on Saturday to record a ninth win on the bounce and move into contention for the title race.

Next on the agenda for the Red Devils is a trip to Crystal Palace on Wednesday before a crunch trip to leaders Arsenal.

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