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A Manchester United sale could go through within weeks as Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani closes in on a takeover, according to reports. The Glazers are claimed to have finally paid attention to intensifying fan protests and could be on their way out of Old Trafford this year.
In November, the Glazers announced a strategic review that would explore alternative investment opportunities.
“The Board will consider all strategic alternatives, including new investment into the club, a sale, or other transactions involving the Company,” a statement read.
Nine months on, leading bidders Sheikh Jassim and Sir Jim Ratcliffe have been left in the dark after a combined total of nine bids eclipsing £5billion, while US firms wait in the wings for minority investment.
However, there now could be light at the end of the tunnel after figures close to the Glazers reportedly explained the potential uproar if the process collapses.
According to The Sun, internal discussions have made the American family understand the strength of feeling among supporters over a potential takeover.
The Glazers have been warned of the sheer scale of backlash they will face if they remain in control at United.
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And left completely aware of the steps they must take to avoid significant disruption, they have finally paid attention to fan unrest after spending 18 years ignoring opposition to their controversial 2005 arrival.
The report claims figures at United are increasingly hopeful that Sheikh Jassim will seal a deal for 100 per cent of the club worth around £6bn.
And an official announcement could be just weeks away after the Qatari banker’s camp completed their due dilligence.
The sale process looks to be entering its final stages, which would spell the end of the Glazers regime in M16.
Ratcliffe’s bid would allow United co-chairmen Joel and Avram Glazer – more reluctant to cash in than their four siblings – to retain a stake and influence in the club.
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But protesting fans have demanded a full sale only, and the ramifications of a different outcome have allegedly been made abundantly clear.
Angry supporters started another season of protests against the Glazer family before Monday’s Premier League opener against Wolves at Old Trafford.
“We want Glazers out” and “Stand up if you hate Glazers” chants remained prominent features of the matchday experience during the 1-0 win, too.
And plans are in place for an hour-long sit-in after full-time when United host Nottingham Forest at Old Trafford next Saturday.
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