The exact details of Carlyle’s proposal, including the investment amount and deal structure, are yet to be finalised.
Despite the long-term feeling that discussions over a minority investment was a tactic to drive up the price for full sale, a series of involved figures have told the Independent that a minority sale is now more likely than a complete takeover.
Carlyle is among the world’s largest private equity firms and has assets of more than $370 billion (£298 billion) under management.
There has also been internal debate within the Glazer family, who also own NFL franchise Tampa Bay Buccaneers, over the potential sale.
With Joel and Avram Glazer believed to be keen to stay at Old Trafford and extend the family’s ownership since the 2005 takeover.
Carlyle’s previous UK investment includes the RAC breakdown recovery service and Addison Lee, the taxi-hire group.
The Glazer family, who purchased the Red Devils for £790 million in a highly leveraged deal, launched a formal sale process late last year and were poised to welcome a third round of bidding this month.
Fans have grown disgruntled at the direction of the ownership for loading debt on to the club.
United, who own the top-flight record of 20 English titles, last won the Premier League in 2013.
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