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Greater Manchester Police release new image of man wanted over abduction of six-year-old girl – as parents urged to be ‘extra vigilant’ | UK News

Police have released a third image of a man they are searching for in connection with the abduction of a six-year-old girl, as parents are urged to be “extra vigilant”.

The child, who police previously said was seven, was allegedly taken by a man into a wooded area near a disused railway track in Droylsden, Greater Manchester, at around 4pm on Wednesday.

She was safely reunited with her family a short time later.

Tameside Police Detective Superintendent Richard Hunt said a man “obviously grabbed a child” and it is believed that he “sexually assaulted her”.

“A child was playing in this area and a chap who was hanging around has taken a child and thankfully within a few minutes we’ve got her back,” he added.

“Parents need to consider the circumstances of what I have mentioned, and I would suggest they need to be extra vigilant with their children whilst we progress this as quickly as possible.”

Officers believe the girl was taken in Warne Avenue before she was led down a path towards a football field and allegedly assaulted.

More on Greater Manchester

“The offender appears to have been hanging around the area prior to the offence and afterwards he made his way through the paths and streets of the Snipe Estate, possibly in the direction of Openshaw,” Det Supt Hunt added.

Below are the three images of a man being looked for by police – it is not clear if he is the suspected perpetrator.

CCTV images issued by Greater Manchester Police
Image:
CCTV images issued by Greater Manchester Police

The first two images were released on Wednesday and were taken within 30 minutes of the abduction.

While the search for the man continues, a large police presence remains in the area.

He has been described as white, aged in his 20s, wearing dark trousers, a dark jacket, and dark shoes or trainers, possibly with a white rim around the sole.

Residents have been urged to check CCTV, dashcam video and doorbell footage for any clips that might assist the investigation.

A 35-year-old man – not the man pictured – was arrested on Wednesday, but has since been released.

Anyone with information should call police on 0161 856 9262.

Manchester United fan and billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe interested in buying club | UK News

One of Britain’s richest men, Manchester United supporter Sir Jim Ratcliffe, is interested in buying the Premier League club if it was for sale.

A source told Sky Sports News that Ratcliffe, who owns cycling team Ineos Grenadiers, is serious about purchasing United, and ex-players would be involved along with Grenadiers general manager Sir Dave Brailsford, a former performance director at British Cycling.

The 69-year-old billionaire is the chairman and chief executive of chemical company Ineos and also owns French Ligue 1 football team Nice, which he took over in 2019, and Swiss side FC Lausanne-Sport.

The British billionaire, who has a net worth of $7.18bn (£5.96bn), according to Bloomberg, was unsuccessful in his last-minute £4.25bn bid to buy Chelsea in May, as American businessman Todd Boehly successfully acquired the club, and Ratcliffe has now turned his attention to the Red Devils.

His interest comes after a Bloomberg report said that the Glazer family, who have owned United since 2005, are considering selling a minority stake in the club.

Preliminary discussions have been held about bringing in a new investor, according to the broadcaster, which ranks Ratcliffe as the sixth-richest person in the UK.

A spokesperson for Ineos said the company would be interested in purchasing a smaller stake with a view to eventually buying the club.

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“If something like this was possible, we would be interested in talking with a view to long-term ownership,” an Ineos spokesperson said in The Times.

“This is not about the money that has been spent or not spent. Jim is looking at what can be done now and, knowing how important the club is to the city, it feels like the time is right for a reset.”

Manchester United chairman Avie Glazer with President Joe Biden in July 2021. Pic: AP
Image:
United chairman Avie Glazer with Joe Biden in July 2021. Pic: AP

The Glazer family is not ready to concede the controlling stake and has an expectation of valuing the club at more than double its current market cap of $2.2bn (£1.83bn), another source said.

The Glazers are unpopular with United fans, who are unhappy at the club’s ownership model and declining performances on the pitch, having not won a Premier League title in nine years and not landed a trophy in five.

The side is currently bottom of the league with no points after two games, while United’s net debt had grown 11% to about £496m by the end of March.

The owners have also been criticised for not improving the Old Trafford stadium, the biggest club ground in the country with a capacity of around 74,000 fans.

Supporters regularly protest against them.

Manchester United supporters at Old Trafford hold up a banner that read 'Glazers Out' on the stands in April. Pic: AP
Image:
United fans at Old Trafford hold up a banner that read ‘Glazers Out’ in April. Pic: AP

Manchester United did not comment on the story. The club have declined to speak on rumours and speculation.

The news comes on the same day that Tesla founder Elon Musk clarified an earlier tweet which appeared to suggest he was buying the club.

He later wrote: “I’m not buying any sports teams. Although, if it were any team, it would be Man U. They were my fav team as a kid.”