Geographically it is only a short distance from Carlisle in the North of England to Manchester. But the road ahead could be a long one as one of the world’s leading PE houses – The Carlyle Group – enters the competitive fray to buy a stake in Manchester United.It is understood that the US powerhouse has submitted an offer for a minority investment. Elliott Management and Ares Management are also thought to be interested, as well as Sixth Street. The UK’s richest man, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, owner of INEOS chemicals group, is hoping to take outright ownership of the club, as is the chairman of Qatar Islamic Bank, Sheikh Jassim. The Red Devils, as they are known, are one of the richest clubs, with a purchase price in excess of $5 billion. Now that The Carlyle Group has expressed a minority interest, the excitement is starting to build. Who will be the ultimate winner? Watch this space.