Jim Ratcliffe: British billionaire interested in buying Manchester United

In an email to CNN Sport, a Ratcliffe spokesman confirmed his interest in the prestigious Premier League club, saying: “We only confirm interest in the club if it is up for sale.”

According to Forbes, Manchester United is worth $4.6 billion. Controlled by the Glazer family, which also owns the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Manchester United is one of the biggest football clubs in the world but hasn’t won the English Premier League since 2013.

Ratcliffe’s interest comes after a Bloomberg report, citing unidentified sources, that the Glazer family is ready to sell a minority stake in the Premier League club to a US investment firm.

Rumors that the club was up for sale surfaced on Tuesday after Elon Musk tweeted that he was buying the club, before later clarifying that his statement was part of a long-running joke and he wasn’t buying a sports team.

CNN has contacted the Glazer family and Manchester United and has received no confirmation that the club is for sale.

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Ratcliffe is the majority shareholder of chemicals group INEOS, which owns French club Nice, Swiss club Lausanne-Sport and cycling team Ineos Grenadiers, and has a partnership with the Mercedes F1 team.

In May Ratcliffe made a last minute bid to buy Chelsea FC before losing to the Todd Boehly consortium.

The Manchester United Supporters Trust has released a statement on the possible ownership change rumours, saying: “Speculation of a possible change of ownership or new investors at Manchester United is mounting.

“While the fans have been demanding a change, of course this has to be the right change. Any prospective owner or investor must be committed to the club’s culture, ethos and best traditions.

“They have to be willing to invest to bring United back to their former glory and that investment has to be real new money to be spent on the players and the stadium.”

Manchester United have struggled for form since the departure of legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013 and currently sit at the bottom of the Premier League having lost both games this season.

CNN’s Diksha Madhok contributed to the coverage.