Sir Jim Ratcliffe is edging closer to obtaining a 25% stake in Manchester United. Although the billionaire was previously hoping for a majority takeover, it seems as if he will settle for a smaller percentage of the club. Negotiations between Ratcliffe and United’s current ownership, the Glazer family, have been ongoing for nearly a year. However, the businessman seems set to finally strike a deal.

The agreement to purchase the minority stake of the Premier League club will reportedly set Ratcliffe back about $1.5 billion. United’s board is set to vote on the deal at some point this week. It is widely expected that the billionaire’s bid will be accepted. Despite only obtaining 25% of the team, Ratcliffe may soon take over the sporting side of the club’s business.

Previous free spending may hinder club’s future moves

This move should excite fans, even if they wanted a full sale of the club. For instance, Ratcliffe will not automatically provide United with lavish transfers. United is currently dealing with Financial Fair Play (FPP) restrictions and must spend wisely going forward.

The Red Devils have spent heavily on new players in recent seasons. In fact, United has a net spend of nearly $400 million since June of 2022. This includes massive deals for Antony, Andre Onana, Casemiro, Mason Mount, Rasmund Hojlund and Lisandro Martinez.

Ratcliffe is looking to grab Newcastle executive to help United transfers

Although Ratcliffe may not be able to flex his financial muscles in the transfer market, he will be making moves inside the club’s setup. According to English news outlet i, the billionaire wants to bring in Newcastle’s director of football Dan Ashworth. The exec was previously a candidate for a similar position at United in 2018. Nevertheless, Ashworth went on to work at Brighton before moving to the Magpies in 2022.

Newcastle, however, will do everything they can to retain Ashworth. Newcastle highly rates the executive. He has played a key role in getting the team back to the Champions League.

Assuming United fails in its pursuit of Ashworth, Paul Mitchell and Michael Edwards are potential alternatives. Mitchell recently departed French side Monaco, while Edwards previously worked with Liverpool.