The magnate has been a leading contender since the Glazers, current club owners, signalled their intent to sell back in January. Multiple bids have been submitted, though none have been named as preferred by the sale facilitators, the Raine Group.
Sheikh Jassim’s latest bid was his fifth. Earlier this week, he set a Friday deadline for the Glazers to accept or reject his offer. It was believed this bid fell short of the £6bn the Glazers seek for the club. The billionaire had previously stated he would disengage from the process if his offer was not accepted.
However, recent reports suggest a change of plan. Regardless of whether the Glazers miss the deadline, Sheikh Jassim’s final bid will remain, says The Guardian. It puts the ball in the courts of the Glazers and fellow bidder Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the INEOS owner.
????BREAKING, Done deal…. Agreement has been reached between Sheikh Jassim and Manchester United announcement will be in soon, and Qatar???????? will be the new owner of Manchester United here we Go!????#MUFC #SheikhJassimInAtManUtd #QatarInAtManchesterUnited #QatarIn #Mufc #manutd pic.twitter.com/dM6P04JY7o
— Faruk Abdulkarim (@UmarAbdulkarim0) June 9, 2023
Meanwhile, Thomas Zilliacus, once linked with a takeover, has reportedly withdrawn again. In a tweet, the Finnish businessman stated that Manchester United’s price had reached a level where investments no longer make sense.
United fans are left in suspense as the takeover process rumbles on. On Wednesday, it was confirmed Sheikh Jassim made a £5bn bid promising to erase the £500m debt. While Sheikh Jassim eyes full club ownership, Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s £5bn bid is for a 69% stake.
Yet neither bidder appears to be closing in on a deal. All this while Manchester United’s financial limits have been internally stressed by owner Joel Glazer, as the club is reportedly unable to bolster the squad amidst the ownership battle.