SIR JIM RATCLIFFE is considering making an offer to buy a minority stake in Manchester United.
The British billionaire has been in the running with Sheikh Jassim to buy a controlling share of the club from the Glazer family.
Despite the current owners putting United on the market last November, no deal has been struck and negotiations with both are at a stalemate.
It has been reported that there are disagreements between shareholders about the club's £6bn valuation, as well as potential legal issues should a full takeover benefit one party more than another.
Ratcliffe made a proposal to buy Man Utd for around £5bn earlier this year, as did Sheikh Jassim, but the offers did not satisfy club chiefs.
Therefore, the 70-year-old Ineos CEO is set to ditch his attempt to become the majority owner and instead try to purchase a smaller stake.
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Various sources claim he could buy 25 per cent of Man Utd for a figure of around £1.5bn.
The bid would see Ratcliffe take an equal amount of A and B shares.
The B shares are held by the Glazers, while A shares are those publicly traded.
If Ratcliffe's proposal is accepted, it means the American owners will remain in control of the club.
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This will be unpopular with many fans and ex-players who have loudly protested the Glazers' presence.
However, it could raise extra capital for transfers or for improvements to be made to a decaying Old Trafford.
The move could also help with debt after it hit £1bn and the club's share price, which plummeted due to the takeover stalemate.
Meanwhile, Sheikh Jassim has not changed his aim of becoming Man Utd's majority owner.
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