Parties interested in completing a takeover of Manchester United and purchasing the club remain hopeful that the process can be completed despite their second bids still falling short of the Glazer family’s expectations.
Last week, prospective buyers were invited by the club to table their proposals to the Raine Group, the merchant bank acting on behalf of the Glazers.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani and Thomas Zilliacus publicly confirmed that they had lodged their bids.
The Peoples Person reported that Zilliacus’ bid was dismissed and he would not proceed to the next stage of the takeover.
ESPN’s Rob Dawson mentions, “The revised bids to buy Manchester United will fall short of the Glazer family’s valuation, although there is still hope a buyout can happen, sources have told ESPN.”
“Sources have told ESPN that bids from Sheikh Jassim and Ratcliffe have been increased from around £4.5 billion but remain below the asking price of around £6bn — although there is hope that the Glazers might still accept a compromise fee to allow a takeover at Old Trafford.”
“United staff have been told to expect “clarity” on the ownership situation by the end of the season.”
Bidders are waiting to hear back from Raine Group. The expectation is that there will be a third round of offers. Less likely is that a preferred bidder will be selected and enter into exclusive talks with the Glazers.
ESPN relays that within Old Trafford it is business as usual although there is a chance that contract extensions for key players could be hampered by the ownership situation.
Players like Marcus Rashford and David de Gea are currently locked in negotiations with the club over longer-term deals.
There are genuine fears that whoever takes over the reins at the Theatre of Dreams will want to make wholesale changes to the structure and top brass.
It is felt that this could derail progress made both on and off the pitch by Erik ten Hag and his coaching staff. Ten Hag enjoys a cordial working relationship with John Murtough, United’s football director.
Alongside Murtough, United chief executive officer Richard Arnold who is also involved in the day-to-day running of the club could be among those who face the axe under new ownership.
Dawson points out that Ten Hag is intent on building on the positive strides that have already been made. For this to happen, the new owners must dip into the market and get the United boss the players he needs.
A number of positions require to be addressed. Chief amongst them is a number nine and a central midfielder.
A goalkeeper could also be acquired and a defender depending on whether or not players like Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof or Aaron Wan-Bissaka exit the club.
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