Bidders for Manchester United have been given more time to make their bids, sources told ESPN.
Raine Group, the commercial bank handling the process for the current Glazer family owners, initially set a deadline of Wednesday 9pm UK time for second offers.
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However, Raine granted an extension to some potential buyers on Wednesday night, prompting most interested parties to take the opportunity to “fine tune” their offers.
Sources close to the consortium led by Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim insist they were prepared to bid before the original deadline and remain ready to bid once Raine sets a new deadline.
British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe, chairman and chief executive of chemical company INEOS, will also meet the new deadline, according to sources close to his offer.
Sheikh Jassim and Ratcliffe are the only two bidders to have made their interest public, but sources have told ESPN that other groups have expressed significant interest and are expected to bid.
There is also interest from several US-based hedge funds, including Elliott Investment Management, in making a minority investment.
The Glazers announced in November that they were seeking “strategic alternatives,” including investment or an outright sale.
Once new offers are received, interested parties don’t expect an immediate response while the Glazers and Raine decide their next steps. Sources told ESPN that Raine could nominate one group as the “preferred bidder” or invite a third round of bids.
United staff have, according to sources, been told to expect “clarity” on the club’s ownership situation by the end of the season.