Man Utd takeover: The Glazers finally pick their preferred bidder as club prepare for ‘imminent exodus’

The Glazers have reportedly picked Sir Jim Ratcliffe as their preferred bidder with the Man Utd takeover taking a huge step forward.

April 28 was the third, and what is expected to be final, deadline for interested parties to make offers to buy the club.

Sheikh Jassim and Ratcliffe both submitted offers to the Glazers, who have faced fury from Man Utd fans since their leveraged takeover in 2005.

It has been reported that one option on the table could see Ratcliffe take a controlling stake of more than 50 per cent, with Avram and Joel Glazer retaining a combined 20 per cent.

And The Sun claim that the Glazers are ‘finally ready to sell’ Man Utd and that Ratcliffe is ‘the preferred bidder’.

The newspaper adds:

‘And that would mean an imminent exodus of the rest of the Old Trafford top brass including chief executive Richard Arnold – but not the two Glazer siblings.

‘Old Trafford insiders have indicated the Glazers would prefer to sell majority control to Ratcliffe’s Ineos Sport rather than flogging the whole club to Sheikh Jassim.’

It is understood that the offer from Sheikh Jassim, the chairman of Qatar Islamic Bank and the son of a former Qatari prime minister, includes a pledge to invest significant sums in capital and infrastructure, and would remove all debt from the club.

Sheikh Jassim was the first prospective owner to publicly confirm a bid during the first round back in February.

Back in November, Man Utd announced that the board was exploring strategic alternatives to enhance the club’s growth, with a full sale one option being considered.

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The Glazer family, the club’s owners, are said to value Man Utd at £6billion and the Raine Group was brought in to oversee the process having facilitated the sale of Chelsea.

The first quarter of the year was initially recognised as a key time in a process that has rumbled into the latter stages of what has been a promising season on the field.

February’s soft deadline was followed by a second deadline last month for those that progressed, with Raine then asking interested parties for their third and final bid on April 28.

The Sun continue by saying that the Raine Group are now ‘expected to confirm the “winning” bid within days’ with Ratcliffe the chosen bidder.

And that is unlikely to go down well with Man Utd fans who staged a protest against the Glazer family before and during Sunday’s Premier League match against Aston Villa.

Fans are calling for a full sale of the club and are against the Glazers potentially retaining shares in the club under Ratcliffe’s reported proposal.

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