Sir Jim Ratcliffe holds substantive talks with Man United during visit to club

Sir Jim Ratcliffe at Old Trafford (Peter Byrne/PA). (PA Wire)
Sir Jim Ratcliffe at Old Trafford (Peter Byrne/PA). (PA Wire)

Prospective owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe and his team held substantive talks with Manchester United on Friday during a visit to Old Trafford and the Carrington training complex.

It was announced in November that the club’s owners, the Glazer family, were conducting a strategic review and a sale was one option being considered.

Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani’s delegation visited United on Thursday and are understood to have held positive, constructive talks during 10 hours at the club.

Friday saw the club host another delegation, with Ratcliffe flying in from Nice and being given a tour of Old Trafford before his team were taken to Carrington.

Discussions were held on the business and football side and the PA news agency understands the meetings with the club went well.

Ratcliffe’s team will now take stock of the situation before the next stage of the process.

The 70-year-old, who owns Ligue 1 club Nice, was joined by INEOS co-owners Andy Currie and John Reece. Former British Cycling chief Sir David Brailsford, now director of sport at INEOS Sport, was also part of the delegation.

United boss Erik Ten Hag revealed he met the INEOS group, having been unable to do the same with the Qataris because of Thursday’s Europa League tie against Real Betis in Seville.

Ten Hag said at his press conference on Friday previewing Sunday’s FA Cup clash with Fulham: “I just met them, we shake hands, but I am focused on the game.

“We play a big game on Sunday and all our focus is on that. Others in the club are dealing with potential investors.”

Sheikh Jassim and Ratcliffe are the only interested parties to have publicly announced their bids to Raine, which was brought in to assist the club in assessing offers.

Elliott Investment Management has also reportedly made it through to the second stage of the process, although the firm is said to be offering funding rather than a takeover.

It is understood Elliott representatives attended the 4-1 Europa League win against Real Betis at Old Trafford on March 9.