Potential Manchester United investor Sir Jim Ratcliffe is ‘unwilling’ to meet the asking price to buy the club, according to a new report.

Ratcliffe, as per the Daily Mail, is one of five ‘serious’ bidders interested in United, along with two parties from Saudi Arabia, a Qatari group, and US-based investors.

Ratcliffe, who is the founder of multinational chemicals company Ineos, formally declared his intention to enter the bidding process last month.

As a boyhood United fan, his announcement was met with positivity by supporters. He is the current owner of Ligue 1 side Nice, while Ineos also hold a one-third equal stake in the Mercedes F1 team.

Speaking in October, Ratcliffe said: “I’m a lifelong Manchester United fan. And I was there in that most remarkable match in 1999 in Barcelona, which is deeply etched in my mind. But we can’t sit around hoping that one day Manchester United will become available.”

However, a new report claims Ratcliffe faces a battle to become involved with his boyhood club.

Ratcliffe reportedly ‘unwilling’ to meet Man Utd asking price

According to Foot Mercato, there are ‘barriers’ that exist between Ratcliffe and the club’s current owners, the Glazer family.

The outlet claim that the Glazers, via The Raine Group, who are overseeing a potential sale, want $6 million for the club. However, it is alleged that the Ineos chief executive is unwilling to pay more than $4 billion.

Bloomberg say that Ratcliffe has enlisted US investment banking firms Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan for advice on the takeover as he looks to push himself into pole position.

Meanwhile, the Daily Mail claimed earlier this week that Qatari investors were planning to make an offer for United within days, and were confident of fending off competition with the size of their bid.

The Guardian then followed up this report, claiming that the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, is the leading figure behind plans to invest in United.

However, one key stumbling block involves the Qatar Sports Investments (QSi) ownership of PSG, with UEFA regulations stating that two clubs owned by the same entity cannot enter a UEFA-backed competition, such as the Champions League.