Sir Jim Ratcliffe is likely to aim for a full takeover of Manchester United, even if he buys a minority stake to start, talkSPORT has been told.
The Ineos chief executive, who is notably a Red Devils fan, has been linked with a decision to buy shares in the Premier League giants following heightened anger towards current owners, the Glazer family.
Ratcliffe’s Ineos are the owners of French club Nice after agreeing a deal to buy the Ligue 1 side for £88.77million in the summer of 2019, with the British billionaire’s side finishing fifth in the French elite last season.
European football expert Andy Brassell has watched Ratcliffe’s reign with Nice over the past three years, and although the French club’s supporters are likely to be put off by the report interested in United, Brassell believes it is a decision that seems inevitable.
Speaking to Hawksbee and Baker about Ratcliffe’s handling of Nice, Brassell said: “Bob, his brother, deals with the day-to-day and that changed a bit this summer as they had a mid-term date of Dave Brailsford, of Ineos connect, to take care of a large part of daily life, I almost became de facto sports director after the departure of Julian Fournier, the former sports director.
Brailsford played an important role in the arrival of Aaron Ramsey, who shared his views on whether he was fit enough to make a regular contribution to Nice, and it looks like his role could be extended. .
“The Ratcliffes also liked having him there, they want to become more international but I’m interested to see what happens from now on because when you talk about the interest from Manchester United, when Jim Ratcliffe was trying to There was quite a backlash at Nice with fans quite passionate and upset about it.
“The feeling was that they had become less important. I guess it’s a much bigger version of how the fans felt at Udinese when the Pozzo family bought Watford and Granada, they thought they were deprioritised.
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“If they were to go for Manchester United, and that’s clearly where Jim Ratcliffe’s head is, I guess there would be a sense with some lovely fans of ‘Where’s it going? “even though Brailsford’s appointment and continued appointment had suggested they wanted to stay rooted to the club.
Brassell added: “You know he has the money to effect a takeover of the club and buy out the small shareholders.
“If he buys a minority stake, it’s to do something else. It’s to mount a bigger leadership challenge, you think, but we’ll see.
“Overall people are not unhappy with the way he is running things at Nice. They have a new stadium after Euro 2016, they have a great training facility, they were ambitious in bringing in Patrick Vieira and Vieira wanted to go there when the Ratcliffes arrived, but they convinced him to stay and l was later sacked when the results took a turn.
“There is a general feeling that they did things the right way. They’ve invested in younger players, they look durable to do things and obviously it’s a lot harder to do those things at Manchester United.
“It’s not quite the recovery of a distressed asset, but it is a depreciated asset to some extent, certainly in a sporting sense.
“Clearly he would involve the sportsmen and if there was a bigger takeover at Manchester United or even a significant minority stake, Dave Brailsford would get involved there because that’s the speculation in France. “
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