Manchester United receive a second Qatari bid to buy the club


General View of Old Trafford prior to the FA Women's Super League match between Manchester United and West Ham United at Old Trafford on March 25, 2023 in Manchester, United Kingdom.

Manchester United have received a second Qatari bid to buy the Old Trafford club, according to UK media reports.

Sheikh Jassim, the chairman of Qatar Islamic Bank and the son of a former Qatari prime minister, placed his second-round offer overnight.

A source close to the bid say the Qataris remain confident of completing a takeover despite rival interest from Jim Ratcliffe and Finnish businessman Thomas Zilliacus. A deadline for offers had been set for 9pm on Wednesday, but that was extended.

The first round of bidding took place last month and it has been reported there are as many as eight separate potential investors.

No figures have been revealed, but one or more of the initial bids were reportedly in the region of £4.5 billion.

The Glazers acquired the club for £750 million in a highly-leveraged deal in 2005. After a controversial reign, they announced they were seeking “strategic alternatives” that could include a sale last year.

Ratcliffe, who made an unsuccessful bid to buy Chelsea in 2022 and already owns French club Nice, visited Old Trafford last week.

The 70-year-old was born in the Manchester area and is a boyhood United fan. He is one of the richest people in Britain with an estimated personal fortune of £6bn.

Sheikh Jassim has said his interest is a private initiative through his Nine Two Foundation and claims it is not connected to the Qatari state. His representatives also visited Old Trafford last week for talks, which were understood to be positive and constructive.

Finnish businessman Zilliacus confirmed earlier this week that he has also submitted a bid.

Zilliacus, founder and chairman of investment company Mobile FutureWorks, wants to buy United in a 50-50 partnership with their fans, who will have a say in the decision-making process at the Premier League club.

Until now, little or nothing is known of other potential bidders, while it has been reported that US hedge fund Elliott Management has made a proposal that would involve offering finance to either new bidders or the Glazers.

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