Man Utd takeover: Club have ‘real desire’ despite ‘confusing’ bid after summer ‘overspend’

Matt Stead
Man Utd manager Erik ten Hag reacts on the touchline

The latest offer to buy Man Utd has been questioned by David Ornstein but the hope within the club is to strike a deal soon as transfers are being affected.

The protracted takeover of Man Utd reached a new stage with a final take-it-or-leave-it offer from the ‘fed up’ Sheikh Jassim earlier this week.

A preferred bidder between the Qatari-backed bid and that of Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS has yet to be named despite both being in the mix since Man Utd was put up for sale in November.

David Ornstein has offered some insight into the situation, while admitting that even he and his sources are struggling to make sense of it all.

“It’s hard to decipher exactly where this is up to, not only from our perspective but I think inside Man Utd as well, because truly only the Glazers and those very much in their inner sanctum know the precise detail and plan,” Ornstein told the Rio Ferdinand Presents FIVE YouTube channel.

READ MORETen Hag ‘growing concerned’ over budget as Glazers delay is explained

“Maybe even they themselves don’t know, because there’s this talk of a bit of division among the family members over who wants to do what in terms of the siblings, with the consensus being that Joel and Avram would like to stay on in some capacity, and some of the others might like to cash out as soon as possible.

“What has emerged in recent weeks is that the Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS-backed bid feels that it’s in a really strong position: they’ve gone into detail in the negotiations, evidently, and there’s optimism that they’ll win through in the end, which would seemingly be a partnership with the Glazers initially, with the potential to take over completely further down the line.

“When the reports emerged about this fifth bid, I thought they had already made their final bid. That seemed to be the briefing that was coming out last time. Now they say ‘this is the final bid, take it or leave it, but it will remain on the table, we just won’t enter negotiations beyond Friday’.

“It’s quite confusing – the perception across much of the industry is that may have been a sort of frustration, an exercise in public relations to an extent to say, ‘look, we’ve tried our best but we’re losing momentum in this situation’.

Man utd takeover

“I don’t think they’ve given up hope completely but it clearly seems there’s momentum on the Sir Jim Ratcliffe side.

“You speak to people, they think maybe in five to 10 days there’ll be some kind of clearer picture on this than we’ve received so far but I don’t say that with much confidence. I don’t profess to provide concrete information where I don’t have it.

“The only thing I do know is that there is a real desire inside Man Utd for this, one way or the other, to be done and dusted so they can get on with what they want to do on and off the pitch.

“Even when this takeover comes, Financial Fair Play is a real consideration for Man Utd. I think there was an overspend last summer, most notably the resources that were ploughed into the Casemiro deal. They couldn’t do much in January. Erik ten Hag would clearly like to do more business.”