Man Utd takeover news: Qatar ‘optimism’ as Sir Jim Ratcliffe changes offer ahead of ‘next step’

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The latest takeover news surrounding Manchester United as selecting a preferred bidder draws ever closer.

It looks set to be a huge week in the bidding process to buy Manchester United, with a final decision on who is the preferred buyer to be confirmed, according to reports.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s Ineos bid and an offer from Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani of Qatar are the only two proposals remaining, with it reported last week that the latter had offered a fifth and final bid to buy the 20-time English champions, while Paris Saint-Germain owner Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani was asked to step in and act as an intermediate in the negotiations.

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As for Ratcliffe, his offer is believed to be for a lower percentage of the club and would see United’s unpopular owners, the Glazers, retain a minority stake in the business. His bid is said to value United at a higher price than the Qatari proposal.

As per the Daily Mail, the Ineos bid is for around 60 percent but they add the Glazers will eventually be forced to sell the entirety of their shares. “Each side is hoping to learn over the coming days which has been chosen by the Glazer family as the preferred bidder,” the Mail add.

Meanwhile, the same outlet claim the Qatari offer is for total control and comes at around the £5bn mark. For weeks the Ineos delegation had appeared to be in the lead, but the gap between the bids ‘is thought to have narrowed’, with the decision now based on whether the Glazers ‘want to sell up or stay in some capacity’.

The Times report something similar and state that Sheikh Jassim’s delegation have had a ‘renewed sense of optimism’ in recent days, with the Ineos bid at one stage holding a significant lead. The latest Qatar offer is said to be closer in valuation to the Ratcliffe-backed approach, with Ineos’ 60 percent bid dropping from the 69 percent initial suggested.

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Journalist Ben Jacobs also tweeted an update on the saga and said neither party will ‘be placed in a period of exclusivity in the next step’, or told they are the preferred bidder. “Plan is instead to have both groups be ready to complete without either being put in exclusivity,” he added. Jacobs also said that the Glazers could still choose not to sell the club.

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