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“They have been the dumb money” – Sir Jim Ralcliff old comments about Manchester United’s failed recruitment strategy regarding Fred resurface

Fred joined Manchester United from Shakhtar Donetsk in 2018 but he has never been the most popular player among fans.

British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe has confirmed his desire to buy Manchester United from the Glazer family. Reports emerged on Wednesday that the Glazers were seeking new investment and were prepared to sell a minority stake in the Red Devils, amid near-constant protests against their ownership from disgruntled United fans.

Now, a spokesperson for Ratcliffe has confirmed to The Times that the lifelong United fan, who failed with a bid to buy Chelsea earlier this summer, is prepared to invest with a view to complete ownership of the club.

"They have been the dumb money" - Sir Jim Ralcliff old comments about Manchester United's failed recruitment strategy regarding Fred resurface 2

“If the club is for sale, Jim is definitely a potential buyer,” a statement read. The spokesperson added: “If something like this was possible, we would be interested in talking with a view to long-term ownership. This is not about the money that has been spent or not spent. Jim is looking at what can be done now and, knowing how important the club is to the city, it feels like the time is right for a reset.”

Just what the Glazers are prepared to offer is unclear. Reports have conflicted, with Bloomberg claiming the American family are not looking to sell the club, which could be valued at over £5bn, outright.

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Sir Jim Ratcliff had previously questioned Manchester United’s recruitment strategy

The 69-year-old has not been shy to air his thoughts on how the club has been run over the past few years. The United fan called the Reds’ spending activity “shockingly poor” in 2019, a year after branding the situation at the club “catastrophic”.

When speaking to The Times about the possibility of taking over United back then, he said: “[Ineos] never wants to be the dumb money in town, never, never. They [United] are in quite a big pickle as a business.

“They haven’t got the manager selection right [Ole Gunnar Solskjaer], haven’t bought well. They have been the dumb money, which you see with players like Fred.” United paid Shakhtar Donetsk around £50m for the Brazilian in 2018.

In April, Ratcliffe, who currently owns Ligue 1 side Nice, submitted a bid to buy Chelsea worth £4.25bn, only to be knocked back as his offer came after the well-publicized deadline for buyers.

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