INEOS’ Sir Dave Brailsford, Jean-Claude Blanc meet Manchester United executives at Old Trafford

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 Jim Ratcliffe of Great Britain INEOS Founder And Chairman / Dave Brailsford of Great Britain Team Manager of Team INEOS / during the Team INEOS - Press Conference / @IneosProCycling / on May 01, 2019 in Yorkshire, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Sir Dave Brailsford and Jean-Claude Blanc of INEOS met Manchester United executives at Old Trafford on Thursday as Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s acquisition of a 25 per cent stake in the club edges closer.

Brailsford, director of sport at INEOS, and Blanc, who left an executive role at Paris Saint-Germain to oversee the entire INEOS Sport portfolio, are expected to be heavily involved in revamping United’s football operations once Ratcliffe’s minority stake is approved.

United’s football director, John Murtough, and interim chief executive, Patrick Stewart, were in attendance to meet the pair.

Brailsford (pictured right) was performance director at British Cycling, while Blanc held roles as Juventus chief executive and then PSG marketing executive before joining INEOS last December.

Brailsford and Blanc joined Ratcliffe in visiting Old Trafford in March when they were weighing up whether to bid for the club. Thursday’s meetings represented a significant step forward in that process as part of a fact-finding mission, with confirmation of a 25 per cent investment expected before Christmas.

Ratcliffe is expected to undertake a wider restructure off the field at United once his proposed £1.3billion investment is confirmed, which is set to see the British billionaire take sporting control.

Richard Arnold’s upcoming departure was confirmed in November, with Stewart taking the chief executive role on an interim basis, having already been handed the day-to-day reins.

Blanc has been linked with taking the chief executive role on a permanent basis, but it is unclear whether the terms of Ratcliffe’s deal would allow him to insert one of his own men in that role when the deal hands him keys predominantly to football operations rather than the overall business.

Confirmation of Ratcliffe’s purchase of a minority stake would conclude a protracted process after the Glazer family put the club up for sale in November 2022.

It had been a two-horse contest between Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim, before the Qatari group said it was withdrawing from the race at the start of October.

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(Michael Steele/Getty Images)

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