Man Utd takeover twist as Sheikh Jassim ‘may submit fourth bid’ to pip Ratcliffe

The Qatari group fronted by Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani could reportedly launch a last-gasp 11th-hour fourth bid to blow Sir Jim Ratcliffe out of the water in the Manchester United takeover race. The blockbuster claims have surfaced amid suggestions that British multinational chemicals company INEOS are regarded as the Glazers’ ‘preferred bidders’ for the Red Devils with a final decision now believed to be imminent from United’s current owners.

The two leading rivals bidders have submitted substantial yet contrasting proposals in the battle to acquire the keys to Old Trafford as supporters now eagerly await confirmation on their club’s future.

The third and what was originally deemed ‘final’ Qatari offer that landed before the deadline is understood to be worth up to £5bn and entails a full purchase of the club – meaning the Glazers would totally be bought out.

On the other hand, Ratcliffe is proposing a partial purchase that will see him acquire a controlling stake which would also enable Joel and Avram Glazer to remain on board – maintaining their 20 per cent stake – before eventually being bought out in 2026 via ‘put-and-call arrangements’.

However, The Times are reporting that while there is suggestion Ratcliffe is currently leading the chase – the Qatari’s remain actively in the race and a fourth blockbuster bid at the 11th-hour cannot be ruled out.

Separate reports that has referenced sources close to the Qatari bidders suggest they are not deterred by claims INEOS are at the front of the queue.

And those claims would align with the latest report from The Times that states Sheikh Jassim could look to swing the balance with an improved, irresistible proposal that is simply too good to refuse.

The Glazers value United at close to £6bn but the highest bid from the Qataris is still some £1bn short of that figure.


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