Confusion still reigns supreme as the fallout from the end of the third round of bids for Manchester United’s takeover process continues.
As of now, Sir Jim Ratcliffe‘s offer seems to be higher and more flexible including the possibility of keeping Joel and Avram Glazer as minority shareholders but he wants total control.
There is no clarity with regards to by Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani‘s offer and whether the pledged investment is a part of, or on top of, the circa £5billion offer.
Sheikh’s next move
There is a growing feeling that the Sheikh needs to up his bid to stand a realistic chance at the moment with him asking for 100% of the club.
Journalist Ben Jacobs has relayed some key updates in this matter. He has mentioned that INEOS seems to be edging ahead in the race and have certain transfer plans in place.
“Ratcliffe has also earmarked Paul Mitchell as part of the #MUFC project. Mitchell has previously been considered for Nice,” he tweeted.
Nine Two Foundation will await feedback first, but sources indicate they haven't ruled out going direct to the Glazers to try and strike a deal. This would mean two things: removing intermediaries on their side and either meeting Glazers via Raine or even bypassing them.
— Ben Jacobs (@JacobsBen) May 2, 2023
Mitchell, famous for scouting the likes of Sadio Mane and Christopher Nkunku, was linked with a switch to Liverpool after ending his association with Monaco.
As for Sheikh Jassim, while the Nine Two Foundation await feedback from the Glazers via the Raine Group, they are contemplating going direct to the Glazers to try and strike a deal.
“Sources indicate they haven’t ruled out going direct to the Glazers to try and strike a deal. This would mean two things: removing intermediaries on their side and either meeting Glazers via Raine or even bypassing them.”
Direct engagement vs flexible bid
While “Final” negotiations are meant for happening after a bidder is selected, “Nine Two Foundation sources are not ruling out direct engagement sooner.”
Interestingly, the Glazers are expected to relay their feedback on final offers this week. They are under enormous pressure to sell as fans protested against the American family again, this time before the Aston Villa game.
A full sale to one of the bidders remains the preferred route but the Glazers have not yet ruled out minority investment options including Carlyle, Ares, Sixth Street and Elliott.
Jacobs revealed that the preferred option could emerge as early as May or they may even be asked to first amend offers.
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