’s new minority owners Ineos tried to establish a partnership with the club almost two years ago but were rebuffed in their attempts, according to reports.
The petrochemicals manufacturer, founded by , have bought a 25 per cent stake in United which will see them .
Although the £1.3billion deal still needs to be ratified – which could take six weeks – Ineos are starting to put their plans in place, with Sir overseeing an overhaul behind the scenes.
Brailsford has extensive experience in the sporting world, most notably as performance director of British Cycling across the 2008 and 2012 , and has become a key cog of the Ineos machine helping to oversee a portfolio that includes Ligue 1 side Nice and the Ineos Grenadiers cycling team.
According to , Brailsford, in his role at Nice, actually reached out to his United counterparts back in 2022 but was rebuffed.
The 59-year-old had hoped to established a partnership that would see the two clubs share information and players and was interested in finding out if football director John Murtough would be interested in a link-up.
But the offer was rebuffed and any further discussions were put on the backburner once the Glazers put the club up for sale and Ratcliffe lodged his interest.
Brailsford had felt Nice might provide the perfect place for United’s younger players to gain experience and even visited Manchester to discuss a loan for Amad Diallo.
United clearly had other ideas, though, and the 21-year-old Ivorian was instead sent out on loan to Sunderland in the Championship where he played 42 times and netted 14 goals in an encouraging spell.
Ineos felt Nice could have provided a gateway into the European market for United after Brexit changed regulations, while they also could have provided information on how they have developed their multi-club operation.
But the tentative discussions between Brailsford and Murtough never amounted to anything, with talks over a collaboration eventually ‘going quiet’.
That could have been as a result of Ratcliffe’s potential takeover, and the recently struck deal may well see Brailsford’s plans finally come to fruition – albeit in a slightly different way.
Brailsford and Ratcliffe both visited Carrington last week and , Murtough and other power players behind the scenes; until the deal is ratified Ineos cannot make any changes at the club, but a major overhaul – particularly to recruitment – is expected.
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