According to reports, Qatari businessman Sheikh Jassim is plotting an ’11th hour bid’ which could ‘blow the competition out of the water’.
The Red Devils have been up for sale since November last year. The Glazer family claimed at the time that they would “evaluate” all strategic alternatives.
The club’s current owners have had interest from several potential minority investors, but Sheikh Jassim and Sir Jim Ratcliffe are the figures most interested in becoming United’s new majority stakeholders.
Sheikh Jassim’s intent is to gain full control of Man Utd, while Ratcliffe is willing to keep the Glazer family at the club with a reduced share.
But The Daily Mail are reporting that ‘a final decision on who will win the race for the Premier League giants remains outstanding and is unlikely to be reached this weekend’.
Ratcliffe is ‘closing in on a successful takeover’ but Sheikh Jassim is not giving up. The report claims that he is ‘considering an 11th hour bid’. They add.
‘British-born billionaire Ratcliffe’s Ineos Group have kept their noses ahead of the main rival bid from Qatari Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani, according to those close to the process as it nears an end.
‘It remains to be seen if Sheikh Jassim’s group will lodge a final attempt to blow the competition out of the water. The Qatari party are far from conceding defeat and remain in firmly in the game, it is understood. Talks are ongoing. Despite a deadline for final bids having passed, it appears as though there is room for further manoeuvre.’
When asked whether a preferred bidder has been named, journalist Ben Jacobs indicated that “the groups haven’t been informed of anything” from the Glazer family as of earlier this week.
“Not necessarily. I think we have to be very careful. We have to make it clear when we’re speaking. But as of Wednesday evening, the groups hadn’t been informed of anything,” Jacobs told Give Me Sport.
“I’m not saying that Ratcliffe doesn’t stand a chance of being the preferred bidder. But there was still no clarity and direct feedback as of Wednesday evening to either of the groups.
“Consequently, Sheikh Jassim still feels that he’s in the race. From Ratcliffe’s point of view, he has always held confidence because he believes his bid plays upon the fact that two of The Glazers, Joel and Avram, want to stay.
“Sheikh Jassim is not flexible. It’s an all-or-nothing bid. Meanwhile, Sir Jim Ratcliffe is effectively telling the Glazers that it’s the dealer’s choice. If they want to stay in any capacity, as long as he gets control, he’s happy with that.”