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Sources: Qatar sheikh to make new Man Utd offer


A consortium led by Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al-Thani will make an improved offer on Wednesday to buy Manchester United, sources told ESPN.

The offer, which follows a 10-hour meeting held with the club last Thursday, will be submitted to the Raine Group before the 9pm UK deadline.

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British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe is also expected to submit a bid on Friday after similar meetings held at Old Trafford and United’s Carrington training base.

Sources told ESPN that the Raine Group expects other offers, which have yet to be made public, to come forward while interested parties in minority investments rather than a full takeover, including the US-based hedge fund. Elliott Investment Management will also make offers.

Sources told ESPN that the consortiums bidding for control of the club had priority during the second round of the process, handled by Raine, but that the existing owners, the Glazer family, are keeping their options open.

They announced in November that they would seek “strategic alternatives.”

Sources have told ESPN that the Glazers value United at around £6bn, although indicative offers received before Raine’s soft opening deadline on February 17 fell short of his asking price.

Second offers by Sheikh Jassim and Ratcliffe, chairman and chief executive of chemical company INEOS, are expected to be closer to the Glazers’ valuation.

Sources close to Sheikh Jassim’s candidacy believe it is “competitive”, and officials remain “very confident” that it will succeed.

Ratcliffe, meanwhile, has said he will not pay a “stupid price” for the club.

“How do you decide the price of a painting? How do you decide the price of a house? It’s not related to how much it cost to build or how much it cost to paint,” Ratcliffe told The Wall Street Journal.

“What you don’t want to do is pay stupid prices for things because you regret it later.”

Sources have told ESPN that United staff have been told to wait for “clarity” on the club’s ownership situation by the end of the season.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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