Eight bids could be made for Manchester United as deadline looms

As many as eight bids could be made for Manchester United before Wednesday’s deadline for second offers, it is understood.

The Glazer family will definitely sell the club, but only for the right price – with £6bn believed to be their valuation.

If their asking price is not met, the owners will raise capital to invest in the club and pay down debt.

It is believed Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al Thani, chairman of Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB), will make a second bid for Manchester United after his representatives visited the Premier League club last week.

Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani
Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani

British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe, through his chemical firm INEOS, is also expected to make a second offer for Manchester United next week after visiting the club on Friday.

The INEOS delegation spent six hours at the club’s Old Trafford stadium and its Carrington training ground, with meetings finishing at about 4pm that Friday.

Several other interested parties have also visited the club during the past two weeks – and more bidders are also likely to visit this week.

Ineos chairman Jim Ratcliffe arrives for the annual Red Cross Gala in Monte Carlo, July 18, 2022. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
Sir Jim Ratcliffe

Based on the level of first-round bids, there are no favourites at the moment, although one could emerge after Wednesday evening’s deadline.

It should not be discounted that the Glazers could keep control of United by agreeing to a minority deal, with the team’s performances improving dramatically and a new strategy now in place.

Sir Jim has hinted that they will not pay over the odds for Manchester United.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Sir Jim, said: “How do you decide the price of a painting? How do you decide the price of a house? It’s not related to how much it cost to build or how much it cost to paint.

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“What you don’t want to do is pay stupid prices for things because then you regret it subsequently.”

However, Ratcliffe, who already owns French club Nice, said his interest in United would be “purely in winning things”, calling the club a “community asset”.

Ratcliffe, 70, was photographed outside Old Trafford after meeting club executives – unlike Sheikh Jassim, who did not visit Manchester personally the previous day.

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Sir Jim Ratcliffe visits Old Trafford

But sources in the US say talks last Thursday in Manchester between Sheikh Jassim’s Qatari delegation and United executives were positive.

His advisers are now working on putting together a new bid, which is expected to be submitted by close of business on Wednesday.

It was previously understood the Qatari bidders were determined not to pay over the odds for the club, but that stance has softened in recent days, coinciding with a delegation’s visit to Old Trafford.

A Qatari delegation travelled to Manchester from London by train and received a warm welcome. Talks were held across 10 hours – a lot longer than expected.

Sheikh Jassim and members of his team had been to Old Trafford as fans before, and the focus of this visit was to get a perspective on what they could do with their capital investment regarding infrastructure, youth development and the women’s team.

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