Chelsea bidder Sir Jim Ratcliffe said Man Utd were "dumb" after signing Fred

Chelsea bidder Sir Jim Ratcliffe says he was put off from trying to buy Manchester United because they keep making "dumb" signings.

The 69-year-old, who is Britain's richest man, appears to have lost the race to takeover from Roman Abramovich – despite making a last-ditch offer of over £4 billion on Friday – with the consortium led by American billionaire Todd Boehly expected to be chosen as the preferred bidder.

Despite being a Chelsea season ticket holder, Ratcliffe is a lifelong United fan, but admitted a few years ago that he wouldn't consider trying to buy the Glazers out due to how badly the club is currently being run.

"They are in quite a big pickle as a business," Ratcliffe told the The Times back in 2019. "They haven’t got the manager selection right, haven’t bought well. They have been [spending] dumb money, which you see with players like Fred."

The Red Devils pipped Manchester City to the signing of Fred back in 2018 for a reported fee of around £47 million, but the Brazilian found it hard to get into any sort of a rhythm during his early days at Old Trafford, and hasn't really made any sorting of lasting impact in the years since – despite a brief uptick in form under Ralf Rangnick.

Who has been Manchester United's 'dumbest' signing in the post-Fergie era? Let us know what you think in the comments section below

United's scattergun approach in the transfer market – as well as their soulless, corporate handling of club business in general – has seen them lose much of their identity and has left them floundering miles behind the likes of City, Liverpool and Chelsea, both domestically and in Europe.

The appointment of Erik ten Hag may well be the start of something brilliant, but as Ratcliffe noted three years ago, until the 'dumb money' stops flowing, United have little chance of climbing back to the summit of European football.

The Oldham-born billionaire has a net worth which dwarves that of both Mr Boehly and Mr Abramovich, with some estimates reporting it to be as high as £22 billion.

After submitting a mammoth £4.25 billion bid for Chelsea yesterday, Ratcliffe told The Times: "We put an offer in this morning. We are the only British bid. Our motives are simply to try and create a very fine club in London. We have no profit motive because we make our money in other ways."

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