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Prospective owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe says he will not pay a “stupid” price for Manchester United.

The INEOS chief executive and his team held talks with the club last Friday during a visit to Old Trafford and the Carrington training complex.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, the 70-year-old said: “How do you decide the price of a painting? How do you decide the price of a house? It’s not related to how much it cost to build or how much it cost to paint.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe visited Old Trafford last week
Sir Jim Ratcliffe visited Old Trafford last week (Peter Byrne/PA).

“What you don’t want to do is pay stupid prices for things because then you regret it subsequently.”

However, Ratcliffe, who already owns French club Nice, said his interest in United would be “purely in winning things”, calling the club a “community asset”.

It was announced in November that United’s owners, the Glazer family, were conducting a strategic review and a sale was one option being considered.

Ratcliffe is one of two interested parties to have publicly announced their bids to Raine, the merchant bank brought in to assist the club in assessing offers.

The other is Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani, whose delegation visited United the day before Ratcliffe’s trip.

Elliott Investment Management has also reportedly made it through to the second stage of the process, although the firm is said to be offering funding rather than a takeover.

However, according to Sky Sports News, more than five bids will be made for United before Wednesday’s deadline.