Manchester United takeover latest: Qatar bid’s Glazers doubts ‘reduced’ after Old Trafford visit
Another eventful week in the Manchester United takeover process comes to an end.
A delegation representing Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani’s Nine Two Foundation was at Old Trafford on Thursday for face-to-face meetings with the United hierarchy, including Chief Executive Richard Arnold and Football Director John Murtough. Sir Jim Ratcliffe then arrived on Friday alongside other INEOS representatives for similar meetings in the second phase of the sales process.
Follow-up offers are expected to come in from both parties as early as next week, which would be the first formal offers since these initial indicative proposals. Here are the latest headlines on the United acquisition.
CONTINUE READING: Ten Hag has seven undroptables
Glazer’s Doubt ‘Reduced’
Sheikh Jassim’s agents have reportedly reduced their doubts about the Glazer family’s commitment to selling the club after meeting the United hierarchy on Thursday, according to the Guardian.
They report that “there is a perception that Americans are serious about completing a sale before the start of the summer transfer window”. The exact date when the transfer window will reopen is not official yet, but last year it opened on June 10th.
It is also reported that there is “no guarantee” that a second offering from Sheikh Jassim’s Nine Two Foundation will represent an increase in the original offering. That first proposal was worth at least £4 billion.
The bidders agree on the future of Ten Hag
Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s INEOS Group and Sheikh Jassim’s Nine Two Foundation both reportedly agree that Erik ten Hag is the right manager for the club and will stay in the event of a takeover, according to the Mirror.
Changes in ownership are often followed by rapid changes in management, for example Thomas Tuchel was fired just three months after Todd Boehly’s takeover of Chelsea, backed by Clearlake Capital, was completed. That is not always the case, however, as the Public Investment Fund, Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, demonstrated with Eddie Howe at Newcastle United.
United are said to have already hinted they want to reward Ten Hag for his past performances in the summer takeover, with the blessing of Ratcliffe, who met the manager on Friday during his visit to the club’s Carrington training ground, and Sheikh Jassim.
Sheik Jassim now ‘ready to overpay’
Sheikh Jassim’s stance on United has reportedly eased and the Qatari banker is now willing to overpay to complete a takeover of the club, according to Sky Sports.
It was previously made clear that the Nine Two Foundation would not repeat what Chelsea’s new owners overspent in taking over the Premier League club. The visit of Qatari officials to Old Trafford on Thursday appears to have accelerated this apparent change in approach.
These reports from their chief news reporter, Kaveh Solhekol, suggest that this could represent an offer closer to the £6bn asking price from Glazers. New offers are expected from both Sheikh Jassim and Ratcliffe next week.