According to sources, the bidding war for Manchester United will heat up this week, with a final decision on who would be the preferred bidder to be made.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s Ineos bid and a bid from Qatar’s Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani are the only two proposals left, with the latter having offered a fifth and final bid to buy the 20-time English champions last week, while Paris Saint-Germain owner Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani was asked to step in and act as an intermediary in the negotiations.
Ratcliffe’s bid is thought to be for a reduced share of the club, with United’s controversial owners, the Glazers, retaining a minority position in the company. His bid is thought to be more expensive than the Qatari plan.
According to the Daily Mail, the Ineos deal is worth roughly 60%, although the Glazers will eventually be obliged to sell all of their shares. “Each side is hoping to learn in the coming days who the Glazer family has chosen as the preferred bidder,” the Mail adds.
Meanwhile, the same source claims the Qatari bid is for entire control and is worth roughly £5 billion. For weeks, the Ineos delegation appeared to be in the lead, but the distance between bids ‘is said to have closed,’ with the decision now relying on whether the Glazers ‘want to sell up or continue in some form’.
According to the Times, Sheikh Jassim’s group has had a renewed sense of confidence in recent days, with the Ineos bid holding a considerable lead at one point. The latest Qatar offer is thought to be closer to the Ratcliffe-backed plan in terms of valuation, with Ineos’ 60 percent offering lowering from the 69 percent initially offered.
Journalist Ben Jacobs also tweeted an update on the story, stating that neither party will ‘be placed in a period of exclusivity in the following phase’ or be notified they are the favored bidder. “The plan is to have both groups ready to complete without putting either in exclusivity,” he continued. Jacobs also stated that the Glazers have the option of not selling the club.