Sir Jim Ratcliffe is expected to launch a bid for Manchester United following confirmation from the Glazer family that the club is on the market for either a full or partial takeover.

Ratcliffe, commonly referred to as Britain’s richest man, had previously confirmed his interest in buying the club he has supported since childhood during the summer.

The petrochemicals billionaire, who founded INEOS and already owns OGC Nice in France, had been part of the bidding process for Chelsea but lost out to Todd Boehly’s consortium after submitting an offer after the deadline set by broker Raine Group had passed.

After a spokesperson for Ratcliffe in August confirmed ‘Jim is definitely a potential buyer’ should the club be for sale, the man himself later backed away and publicly conceded in October that the Glazers ‘don’t want to sell’.

Ratcliffe was also linked with a takeover of Liverpool more recently but INEOS appeared to rule themselves out of any move into Premier League football, declaring instead that the group’s focus remains on developing Nice into a domestic rival for Paris Saint-Germain in France.