According to journalist Ben Jacobs, Qatar’s Sheikh Jassim could submit an improved offer to the Glazer family as he attempts to buy Manchester United.
The Red Devils have been on the market since the end of last year but it remains to be seen whether the Glazer family will sanction a full sale.
Sheikh Jassim and INEOS’ Sir Jim Ratcliffe have emerged as the most likely candidates to oust the Glazer family.
Ratcliffe is understood to be willing to keep the Glazer family on board with a reduced stake of around 20%, while Sheikh Jassim is only interested in a full takeover.
There have been three official rounds of bidding for Man Utd but Sheikh Jassim has submitted five separate bids. His best proposal is understood to be worth around £5bn.
Jacobs is of the understanding that “sources indicating that neither group want to go higher” than £5bn is “synced up with United’s poor form”.
“Well, I think once again, with the takeover, we’re just seeing a bit of a PR game. Because Manchester United are not succeeding on the field, of course, the suitors are indicating that they don’t want to raise their value, which is something that they’ve said pretty consistently,” Jacobs told GiveMeSport.
“But ultimately, part of the frustration of the whole process has been the smoke and mirrors and competitive tension.
“So it’s natural that the groups would indicate via sources which they have done so, that they’re not prepared to pay more, and Sheikh Jassim, in particular, has always said that he believes the Nine Two Foundation are paying well above the market value of the club, which statistically is correct.
“And that’s why Nine Two Foundation have been reluctant to go too far north of £5bn. But ultimately, the timing of sources indicating that neither group want to go higher, is obviously synced up with Manchester United’s poor run of form and that sends a message in the media that puts pressure on the Glazers to finally make up their minds as far as the groups are concerned.”
Jacobs has also hinted that Sheikh Jassim could make another offer to the Glazer family in an attempt to seal a deal and this new bid could “be closer to £6bn”.
“So I still don’t think that we can rule out another bid from, in particular, Skeikh Jassim, simply because we got told after the final bid deadline in April, even though that was only a soft deadline, that that would be the last offer,” Jacobs added.
“Then we got told after the fourth bid that that would be the last offer then we got told after the fifth bid that that would be the last offer. So you can never rule out another offer in this type of takeover because it’s public, it’s fluid, in many ways, the situation.
“And ultimately, if Sheikh Jassim in particular wants Manchester United, he may eventually have to pay what it takes, or certainly get closer to that £6bn number.”