A breakthrough in the sale of Manchester United Football Club and the removal of the Glazers might finally have taken place if reports in Italy are to be believed.
Marco Conterio, chief editor of Tutto Mercato, claims that Sir Jim Ratcliffe is on the verge of buying the Premier League giants.
A deal worth around £4bn is already ‘at an advanced stage’ and could be completed in a matter of days.
That figure would be somewhat in line with the valuations of United as given by financial experts.
It is, however, well short of the price tag reportedly set by the Glazer family.
£4bn would make the Red Devils the most expensive club in football history, eclipsing the £2.5bn Todd Boehly and his consortium paid for Chelsea last year.
But reports suggest that the Glazers are looking for far more than that sum, with The Peoples Person relaying their determination to remain in control should no offers upwards of £6bn arise.
Furthermore, the Raine Group, who are handling the sale on the Glazer’s behalf, have set a mid-February deadline for bidders.
It simply would not make any sense for the sale to be nearing completion prior to that deadline for less than the asking price.
The Glazers are unlikely to agree to £4bn now, when within the next two weeks there remains every possibility that Saudi Arabian investors, or some other group, will present themselves.
Ratcliffe, founder and owner of INEOS petrochemicals, will certainly be a major player in takeover talks over the coming weeks.
But it seems unlikely that he will be the only player, given the unlikelihood of the report being factual.
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