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Sir Jim Ratcliffe is saying all the right things - but just how realistic is new Man Utd co-owner's three-year plan?

Less than 24 hours after officially taking over football operations at Manchester United, Sir Jim Ratcliffe outlined his lofty ambitions for the future from the boardroom suite of his INEOS headquarters in London. He struck all the right notes, even going so far as to channel legendary former manager Sir Alex Ferguson when vowing to end 11 years of "complete misery" and close the gap on Manchester City and Liverpool.

“We have a lot to learn from our noisy neighbour and the other ­neighbour,” Ratcliffe said. "They are the enemy at the end of the day. There is nothing I would like better than to knock both of them off their perch."

The 71-year-old billionaire went on to warn fans there will be no "overnight change", but also insisted United can accomplish their goals by as early as 2027, one year before the club's 150th anniversary. “The fans would run out of patience if it was a 10-year plan,” he added. “But it’s certainly a three-year plan to get there. I think the key thing is our trajectory, so that ­people can see that we’re making progress. Because it’s not easy to turn ­Manchester United into the world’s best football team.”

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That last sentence is the understatement of the century. Ratcliffe's arrival has generated a new wave of optimism at Old Trafford, but bringing United back to the top of the game in such a short period of time would be nothing short of a miracle.