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Sir Jim Ratcliffe takes swipe at Bruno Fernandes in his new book ahead of Man Utd takeover

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the incoming investor at Manchester United, has aimed a not-so-subtle dig at club captain Bruno Fernandes in his new book.

The 71-year-old British billionaire is expected to acquire a 25 per cent share of United from the Glazer family this month for a reported sum of £1.3 billion.

Ratcliffe will have an influence over the sporting side of the business, and is expected to improve the club’s aging infrastructure, as well as its much-talked-about recruitment strategy.

One of Ratcliffe’s first major decisions could be around the uncertain futures of Casemiro and Raphael Varane, who are currently United’s top two earners.

But ahead of a minority takeover being announced, the chief executive officer of the INEOS chemicals group has made a big statement about one of United’s most influential players.

As reported by the Daily Mail, Ratcliffe namedrops Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes in the opening page of his new book; Introducing Grit, Rigour & Humour: The Ineos Story.

Here, he talks about his travels and recalls a particular trip around the Pacific, where he “felt the ground tremble every time a Cook Islander smashed into another in a local rugby match.”

Ratcliffe adds that one player was “carted off in the back of a pick-up with a broken leg”, which soon brought a reference to Manchester United’s captain.

He said the incident was a “far cry from Bruno Fernandes clutching his untouched face in the Liverpool debacle recently” – a statement that presumably references the midfielder’s antics when United suffered a 7-0 defeat to Liverpool last season.

Ratcliffe was not alone in being unimpressed with Fernandes’ actions that day at Anfield.

Image credit: Getty
Image credit: Getty

Roy Keane, who called for the player to be stripped of the captaincy in October, made his feelings clear.

“Fernandes’ body language was nothing short of disgraceful,” he said after the game. “He’s a really talented boy but he’s your captain. So much talent but his body language of waving his arms about and not running back? You wouldn’t be happy with him in your dressing room.”

Gary Neville, who was commentating on the game for Sky Sports, also had his say after Fernandes held his face after being pushed off by Ibrahima Konate, despite contact being made with the Portuguese’s chest.

“There was a VAR check for an elbow – it was on his chest,” Neville said while watching a replay. “Oh, he holds his face. That’s embarrassing from Bruno Fernandes. It’s on his chest and he goes down. He’s so frustrating at times.”

Neville added: “Bruno Fernandes is stood in the centre circle with his arms raised saying ‘Why isn’t it me coming off?’ Honestly. I think some of his behaviour in the second half has been a disgrace.”

Thoughts on Ratcliffe appearing to reference Bruno Fernandes’ antics during last season’s clash against Liverpool? Let us know in the comments.