Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani appears to have purchased Manchester United from the Glazer family ahead of Sir Jim Ratcliffe.
Since the Glazers originally declared that they would be open to a sale in November, the Qatari banker and Ratcliffe have been seen as the two top contenders to take over at Old Trafford.
Both sides have made several proposals to Raine Group, the American bank in charge of managing any potential takeover, but the process has been extraordinarily lengthy.
The Glazer family is said to have disagreed on whether to allow a full sale or merely welcome minority investment, leaving Sheikh Jassim and Ratcliffe in limbo.
Previously, it was stated that Ratcliffe was Man United’s first option, but Sheikh Jassim is alleged to have presented the club’s fifth and final offer last week.
While the 44-year-old had set Friday as the deadline for a response, his offer appears to be on the table, and reports from Qatar say that Sheikh Jassim is certain to win the race to buy the club.
Sheikh Jassim to takeover Manchester United before the start of next season?
According to Al-Watan, as the Glazers prepare to surrender control after an 18-year reign, an announcement of Sheikh Jassim’s takeover will be made soon.
If his takeover attempt is successful, Sheikh Jassim has reportedly promised to spend lavishly in Old Trafford and the team’s training ground, and he is trying to buy the entire club.
Ratcliffe’s bid, on the other hand, was just for a majority position, enabling the Glazers to remain as minority shareholders, with a view to a possible full takeover after three years.
Man United’s current owners are claimed to have been holding out for a £6 billion sale price, and while Sheikh Jassim’s latest offer is closer to £5 billion, there is still hope that a deal will be reached.
Sheikh Jassim’s acquisition effort has recently been the subject of controversy, with claims that he solicited the assistance of Paris Saint-Germain president and compatriot Nasser Al-Khelaifi.
The chairman of beIN Media Group has now denied any role in the process, claiming that he is only concerned with PSG and would provide his “opinion” if asked.
The Glazers took complete control of Manchester United in 2005, but their ownership has been faced with tremendous fan opposition over the previous 18 years.
Supporters have targeted the American family for their exorbitant debts of £969.6 million, and fans have also rushed the Old Trafford pitch in the aftermath of the European Super League catastrophe.
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