Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer reported the news.
Manning is said to be "considering" the offer but has not made any commitments. It's unclear if the offer from Navarro comes with any potential say in football operations. Manning has expressed an interest in running an NFL front office, though he told Peter King of The MMQB last year it wasn't "the right place for me right now."
Manning has stayed out of football the last two years, despite numerous offers from inside and around the sport. Networks were reportedly willing to pay Manning upward of $10 million per year to become an analyst, but he's declined all overtures.
There were also rumors of the Cleveland Browns pursuing Manning to run their front office, which owner Jimmy Haslem denied.
The Panthers are set to be sold by owner Jerry Richardson after multiple women came forward and accused him of creating a culture of sexual harassment. Richardson said he plans to sell the franchise this offseason, but no buyer has emerged as a front-runner.
Mark Richardson, Jerry's son, said he hopes Navarro winds up with the winning bid.
"I'm sure there are multiple people that could be the right next owner. I personally know Ben and I know what he stands for," Richardson told Person. "I know where his heart and his head is, and what his commitments are. And I can't imagine a better person being the next owner than him."
Navarro, 54, resides in South Carolina. He has an estimated worth of $3 billion and has been in the Carolinas since bringing Sherman Financial Group to South Carolina.
Navarro also has numerous business ties in both North and South Carolina, which makes him a fit for Richardson, who wants to ensure the franchise stays put.