Movement in the Manchester United sale is expected this week. It is understood the situation will develop over the coming days – more than two weeks after second bids were filed.
There have been growing concerns that, with the clock ticking, should the Glazer family accept an offer for full control, any chosen buyer may not be in place in time to oversee the summer transfer window.
Second offers were lodged on March 23 by British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s group and a day later by Qatari Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani. Both parties had been given extended deadlines to place their bids after struggling in what was a short timeframe instigated by Raine Group, the US merchant bankers in charge of the process.
At that stage, with time thought to be of the essence, those involved expected to hear back in around seven days. But that did not happen, and it is understood that the situation has caused frustration and even annoyance in some quarters.
Sheikh Jassim has already announced his intention, should his offer be successful, to invest heavily. Significant funds are likely to be made available to manager Erik ten Hag as he seeks to reshape his squad.
Amid that backdrop, progress will be welcomed. It remains to be seen what the next move from the Glazers will be. The bids are thought to have been in the region of £5 billion, with the Americans reported to be seeking £6 billion.
At this stage they can enter into exclusivity with one group or call for a third round of bidding. Some feel that the lack of movement is an indication that they are considering all options closely and examining ways to drive the price up.
Aside from the two bidders for full control, US outfit Elliott Investment Management are one of a number of groups offering cash in exchange for a partial stake.
United would need between £1 billion and £2 billion to either redevelop Old Trafford or build a new stadium and carry out upgrades to their training ground. Should the Glazers decide to remain, the reaction from supporters is unlikely to be warm.
Anti-Glazer chants calling on the Americans to sell United have been commonplace at games and a new, giant banner, reading ‘Glazers Out’ was displayed above the players’ tunnel at United’s last home match against Everton.
Should the Glazers remain in charge, the reaction from supporters is unlikely to be warm.
- The Daily Mail report