Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani, a bidder for Manchester United, has issued a warning to the Premier League club, stating his readiness to abandon the ongoing takeover negotiations if the sale process continues to be prolonged.
Recent reports suggested that Manchester United is in discussions with Sheikh Jassim regarding exclusivity, following his submission of a fifth and final bid earlier this month. Speculation is mounting that the Qatari banker’s latest offer, valued at approximately $6.5 billion (£5.2 billion), along with an additional pledged investment of $1 billion (£800 million) in the club, may have been successful.
However, according to the BBC, exclusivity has not yet been granted by Raine, the banking group overseeing the sale on behalf of the current owners, the Glazer family. Talks are still ongoing with other interested parties, including Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Britain’s wealthiest individual, who has submitted multiple offers through his INEOS Group.
Unlike Sheikh Jassim’s aim of a complete takeover, INEOS is seeking a controlling stake of over 50%, allowing the Glazers to retain some involvement with the club. The sale process has now exceeded 200 days since the Glazers initially announced their exploration of “strategic alternatives” for Manchester United, essentially putting the club up for sale.
Concerns are growing over the extended duration of the sale process and its potential impact on United’s summer transfer activities, particularly with the domestic transfer window now open for English clubs. Sheikh Jassim has previously demonstrated signs of impatience with Raine and the Glazers. Following the submission of his fifth bid for United last week, he reportedly “threatened to walk away” from the entire takeover process.
It is believed that Sheikh Jassim’s final offer was presented as a “take-it-or-leave-it” proposition, refusing to re-engage in negotiations until a preferred bidder was identified. While he is currently regarded as the frontrunner in the race to acquire Manchester United, Sheikh Jassim has indicated that he may withdraw from the talks if there is a lack of progress in the sale process.
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