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Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani is in pole position to become the new Manchester United owner this summer, according to reports. A fresh update backs up Rio Ferdinand’s bold claims that sent the Red Devils fan base into a frenzy earlier this week, with the takeover saga nearing a conclusion.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe had previously been widely considered the frontrunner to take control at Old Trafford after his bid allowed Joel and Avram Glazer to retain a minority stake.
However, Sheikh Jassim’s improved fifth bid, delivered with a ‘take-it-or-leave-it’ stance, has turned the tide.
The momentum behind the Qatari businessman is growing, with Reuters claiming he is in negotiations over entering a period of exclusivity with the Glazers, which would all but seal a deal.
And BBC Sport’s economics editor Faisal Islam has relayed confirmation that Sheikh Jassim is the candidate in the driver’s seat.
He said: “Qatar are ahead. Qatar are in pole position. If nothing happened now, if pause was pressed on this, we think the Qataris would win.”
Man Utd takeover latest with Sheikh Jassim exclusivity and Ratcliffe bid belief[TAKEOVER]
On Thursday, Ferdinand dropped a bombshell on his YouTube channel by claiming he heard a Qatari takeover was on the brink.
The iconic defender has gained a reputation for scooping major United news after being the first to let the cat out of the bag about Cristiano Ronaldo’s sensational 2021 return.
“Man Utd takeover is imminent. We’re hearing the Qatari bid is the one that is taking over, it is the one that’s being accepted and it’s the one that is going to go through,” Ferdinand told FIVE.
“Hallelujah, man, we can’t wait. Please let this happen. Please let it be true. Look how long this has gone on for.
“The Glazers have dug their heels in, and they’re going [for] obviously it seems the biggest bidder.
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“The person with the most money is going to get the club, which is normal in negotiations, but they’ve certainly dragged their heels.”
He added: “The takeover bid from the Qataris is something we’ve been waiting for for a long time. We’re hearing that it’s close. We’re hearing that it’s in a matter of days that it’s going to happen if not hours.”
Only time will tell whether a late attempt by Ratcliffe could turn the tides back in his favour.
But a full takeover overseen by Qatar, clearing the debt and injecting billions into the club’s infrastructure, looks only a matter of time.
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