Why Sir Jim Ratcliffe turned down Liverpool takeover amid £5bn-plus bid made

Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani are involved in a potential Manchester United takeover but the former was first linked with a bid for the Reds.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, one of Britain's richest people, has made a second bid for Manchester United.The Independent reports that an offer of more than more than £5 billion has now been submitted through Ratcliffe’s INEOS Group.

Second round of bids for United turned in chaos ahead of Wednesday’s 21.00 GMT deadline. Ratcliffe and Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani were both granted extensions after the Raine group - brokering the sale on behalf of the Glazer family - received offers from neither party. The Glazer family are said to value United closer to £6 billion.

Ratcliffe was in the reckoning to purchase Chelsea last year before a Todd Boehly-led consortium won the race. And when it emerged that Liverpool had been put on the market by Fenway Sports Group (FSG) last November, Ratcliffe's name was one of the first to crop up as a potential suitor.

Having tried to already purchase one Premier League heavyweight, it was thought that he would enter the frame to take over another. At the time, it was reported that FSG were open to a complete sale of Liverpool.

However, a spokesperson from INEOS was quick to pour cold water on that suggestion. Instead, focusing on Ligue 1 club Nice was Ratcliffe’s priority.

Via The Telegraph, a statement said: “Our position has developed, and we are now focusing efforts in Nice and raising ambitions for the club to make them into a top-tier club in France to compete with PSG. This would represent much better value for our investment than buying one of the top-tier Premier League clubs.”

Principal owner John Henry recently confirmed that FSG are looking for investors in Liverpool.