An announcement on who has won the battle to takeover Manchester United is expected this week.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe and his petrochemicals firm, Ineos, are seen as the favourites to be given exclusivity status to complete a takeover at Old Trafford, but the approach from Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad bin Jaber al-Than of Qatar remains in contention.
The deadline for third and final offers was set in April, but Sheikh Jassim has since submitted fourth and fifth proposals to the Glazer family in a bid to win the race.
According to the Times, the Qatar bid has been encouraged after the Glazers contacted Nasser al-Khelaifi, the president of Qatari-owned Paris Saint-Germain, to request that he ask Sheikh Jassim to raise his offer for the Red Devils.
Ratcliffe – regarded as Britain’s richest man – has been in advanced talks with The Raine Group, the New York bank tasked with overseeing the sale, and remains the frontrunner. The 70-year-old’s overall valuation of United is higher than the Qataris, while his proposal is for around 60% of the club and will allow the Glazer siblings to retain a stake as an investment.
The willingness to allow the current owners to remain in a reduced capacity has made Ratcliffe the favourite to win a long-running takeover race, with an announcement reportedly set to be made this week.
The summer transfer window officially opens on Wednesday June 14 and those associated with United will want clarity on the ownership situation, after a saga which began in November with the announcement that the Glazers were considering a sale. The figure for any sale is now approaching £6 billion, which will set a new world-record for the sale of a sports team.
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