Man Utd-linked billionaire Jim Ratcliffe has met Joel and Avram Glazer

Manchester United-linked billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe has called Joel and Avram Glazer 'proper gentlemen' while distancing himself from the club.

The 69-year-old, who owns chemicals company Ineos and is Britain's richest man, has been open about his desire to purchase a Premier League club in the past.

However, he has now explained why the Old Trafford giants are not currently a viable option while mentioning the recent sale of Chelsea to Todd Boehly.

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"Manchester United is owned by the Glazer family. I have met Joel and Avram. They are the nicest people, I have to say, proper gentlemen," he said at a Financial Times event

"They don’t want to sell it (the club). It’s owned by the six children of the father.

"If it had been for sale in the summer, yes we would probably have had a go following on from the Chelsea thing. But we can’t sit around hoping one day Manchester United will become available."

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The chemical engineer and businessman is a supporter of the Red Devils despite being a season-ticker holder at Chelsea – and is already the owner of FC Lausanne-Sport and Ligue 1 outfit Nice.

Ratcliffe's reported net worth of £10.9billion would put him in the top five of Premier League owners according to estimated combined net worth of ownership groups.

Ratcliffe's fortune would put him above Arsenal's Stan Kroenke of Kroenke Sports & Entertainment who has an estimated £8.9bn.

The Glazers, however, have never expressed a desire to sell up despite pressure from fans and ex players such as Gary Neville.

He said earlier this year: "The time has come for the Glazer family to sell the football club, the time has come, it's now. I'm certainly not going to have a go at the coach, the coach needs time, a lot of time.

"And I've actually got to the point where I'm not going to have a go at the players anymore because if you've got a business and the people who are working in the business can't do the job for you then you remove them from those jobs."

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