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Sir Jim Ratcliffe now leading race to invest in Manchester United following talks with the Glazers

British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe is emerging as the front-runner to buy into Manchester United after his recently revised offer gave him an edge over a rival proposal from Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani, reports Bloomberg.

Ratcliffe is in talks with the Glazers and their advisers over the structure of a deal and the club’s board is set to discuss the latest proposal at a meeting as soon as ‘the next few days’.

The current owners of Man United see the bid of the British billionaire for a minority stake as more attractive than an alternative Qatari offer to acquire the whole club.

Ratcliffe wants to buy some of the shares held by both the Glazers and minority investors in the Red Devils under the current terms being discussed.

Acquiring a minority stake could see him buy 25% of Man United in a deal that could value the club at more than £5 billion.

He could end up spending in the region of £1.5bn in buying part of the Old Trafford club and his proposal could give Joel and Avram Glazer a chance to remain in charge at least in the short-term.

It appears that appeals to the current owners even though the fans would love to see their backs following years of struggle on and off the pitch since Sir Alex Ferguson left in 2013.

Ratcliffe is expected to pursue a complete takeover going forward if his proposal to buy a minority stake in the club is accepted.

However, there is no certainty the ongoing deliberations will result in a transaction, and while the Glazers are closer than ever to finding a deal that suits them, the Qataris could still increase their bid to complete a full takeover.

The Glazers want at least £6bn to sell Man United, but both Shiek Jassim and Ratcliffe have failed to meet their asking price, prompting the OGC Nice owner to opt for a minority investment instead.