Sir Jim Ratcliffe is offering a deal for Manchester United that would enable Joel and Avram Glazer to remain stakeholders in the club, Mail Sport understands.
In what would be a highly controversial act likely to infuriate large sections of United’s support, one of the options on the table for the American owners would see Ratcliffe take a controlling stake of more than 50 per cent, with the two Glazers retaining a combined 20 per cent.
Should the proposal get the nod it would mean that a connection with the family, whose leveraged buyout in 2005 plunged United into hundreds of millions of debt, continues.
Those close to the process, which is being run by US merchant bank Raine Group, say the prospect may well prove to be the preferred option with the two Glazer brothers – the members of the family most-heavily involved in the running of the club – given an opportunity to stay.
It is thought the final portion currently owned by various investment groups would also remain in place.
When Raine oversaw the sale of Chelsea last summer the successful bidders paid £2.5bn for the club and pledged another £1.75bn in investment.
The deadline for closing bids is this Friday. Qatari Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani will present his concluding offer, which is for full control of United.
He has no interest in taking a partial stake. He is viewed as having the deepest pockets and remains an attractive proposal. A full takeover is also viewed as a ‘cleaner’ transaction.