Man Utd takeover update as ‘most likely suitors’ receive UEFA backing
Ten Hag delivers Man Utd team news ahead of Leeds clash
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Manchester United owners the Glazers are reportedly braced for a Qatari takeover bid in the not-too-distant future, with UEFA set to give the green light despite the apparent conflict of interest it could cause in the Champions League. The Red Devils were put up for sale by the Glazer family towards the end of last year and several interested parties have since been credited with an interest in buying the club at some point over the next few months.
Investment groups from Qatar and Saudi Arabia have been tipped to make big-money bids for United over the last few weeks, while Ineos chief Sir Jim Ratcliffe is also known to have concrete interest in taking over his boyhood club. However, it seems as though Qatar are the ‘most likely’ suitors at this stage of proceedings, with UEFA ready to sanction a multi-billion pound offer to be submitted in a matter of days.
That’s according to the Daily Mail, who are reporting that Qatar will be given the green light to buy United in spite of the potential conflict of interest it could spark in European competition given that Qatar Sports Investments owns Paris Saint-Germain. It is said that such a bid is being championed by the Emir of Qatar and would be well-placed to meet the asking price of around £5bn set for the Glazers in exchange for the Old Trafford club.
UEFA are not expected to stand in the way of any Qatari bid as long as they are satisfied that United and PSG will have separate management and distinct corporate structures which do not collude. Interested parties have been invited to submit offers by the end of this week, with the process of overseeing United’s takeover being led by the Raine Group.
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Qatar is not interested in purchasing a minority stake in the club and would have plans to rebuild Old Trafford and modernise United’s training base at Carrington, which could add another £1.2bn to the overall investment package. The prospect of Qatari money regenerating the land around Old Trafford would reportedly provide important political momentum in the UK as it would match a key government aim of levelling up local communities.
A rival offer from Saudi Arabia is still believed to be a possibility as things stand, while British billionaire Ratcliffe has enlisted the services of JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs in his efforts to pursue a takeover bid of his own. However, he is only willing to pay up to £4bn for the privilege of running the Red Devils, according to GFFN, which would fall short of the asking price set by the Glazers.
It remains to be seen how United’s takeover process will play out over the coming weeks and months, with the Red Devils able to reap the rewards of large-scale investment as they look to return to Europe’s footballing elite under the guidance of Erik ten Hag. The Dutchman knows that cash is king in the Premier League and recently sent a message to the club’s potential new owners by highlighting the importance of spending power after the Glazers held back from splashing out in the January transfer window.
“For a long time I think the Premier League was always a two-horse race, but now I think it’s a six, seven, eight-horse race,” said Ten Hag. “It’s about strategy but also, of course, it’s about finance. I am here to manage the team, to get the best out of them, and of course I have a job in bringing the right players in.”
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