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Who is Jim Ratcliffe, the man linked with buying Manchester United? | Philippe Auclair

French football writer Philippe Auclair explains just who Jim Ratcliffe, Manchester United's rumoured new buyer, is in the world of football.

French football writer Philippe Auclair explains just who Jim Ratcliffe, Manchester United's rumoured new buyer, is in the world of football.

According to a report by Bloomberg, the Glazer family are considering selling a minority stake in Manchester United. The Glazers have owned Manchester United since 2005.

It was reported on Wednesday that the 'richest man in Britain' Jim Ratcliffe would be interested if Manchester United was for sale.

The CEO of Ineos Group Ltd's spokesperson released a statement in which Ratcliffe's interest in Old Trafford was made clear.

"If the club is for sale, Jim is definitely a potential buyer," Ratcliffe's spokesperson told The Times. "If something like this was possible, we would be interested in talking with a view to long-term ownership."

Speaking on The Football Show, Auclair discussed the English businessman's dealings in the world of football, and the reception that French club OGC Nice has had to his ownership.

"If you talk to OGC Nice fans, they are underwhelmed," Auclair said. "They were expecting far more. They thought that Ratcliffe would use Nice as more than a springboard.

"It is by far the biggest club in that part of France. To find a club that is equal or superior in this case in terms of status and reputation, you're looking at Marseille, which is quite far away.

"So, people were expecting far more. They were hoping for a kind of Roman Abramovich, and they realised that what they got was more of a Glazer."

Ratcliffe wants to build a football portfolio

Ratcliffe has already dipped his toes into the waters of club ownership in Europe. As of 2017, he has owned FC Lausanne-Sport in Switzerland's Swiss Super League, as well as Nice, which he purchased in 2019.

However, Auclair suggested that Ratcliffe is looking for the 'diamond' or 'flower' in his football portfolio.

"It is part of his long term strategy of investing in sport and building a portfolio of clubs," Auclair said. "He has always wanted to get something bigger [than Nice].

"We know that, when Abramovich had to sell Chelsea, Ratcliffe came on the scene too late, but he did come on the scene. He is looking for a big club somewhere.

"It is part of this restructuring of European football which is happening before our eyes, which many people are not completely aware of."

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