Man Utd takeover: Glazers to make critical Sheikh Jassim decision as Sir Jim Ratcliffe plan is savaged by prominent player

Man Utd takeover: Glazers to make critical Sheikh Jassim decision as Sir Jim Ratcliffe plan is savaged by prominent player

Manchester United could announce their preferred bidder to take control of the club away from the Glazers this week – but Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s chances have suffered a dent after a Nice player took aim at his efforts to buy the Red Devils.

United’s American owners the Glazers are ready to finally call time on their long ownership of the club, dating back to 2005. It was then that Malcolm Glazer bought the club for what now seems a lowly £790m.

However, their time in charge has been controversial to say the least. And their ownership has proved highly unpopular among the United faithful who have launched wave after wave of protests against their regime.

Now in control of Joel and Avram Glazer, United were put up for sale in November. And with the Americans open to a full or indeed partial sale, their era looks to be soon coming to a close.

The process, though, has proved a long-winded one, although two main bidders – Sheikh Jassim and Sir Jim Ratcliffe – have been shortlisted.

Indeed, with the Glazers hoping to fetch up to £6bn for their shares, it seems the two men who been locked into something of a bidding war.

Ratcliffe appears faviourite to take over the club; his final bid was indeed for around £6bn. Under his plan, he also will allow the Glazers to retain a minority stake.

But Sheikh Jassim’s Qatar group’s bid is worth around £5.5bn – with an additional wedge of cash pledged for the local community. In addition, the Qatari bid also plans to wipe out United’s £500m debts.

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Man Utd takeover: Decision could arrive this week

However, according to the Independent, the end could finally be in sight. Per Miguel Delaney, a preferred bidder to buy out the Glazers could be announced by the end of the season – and possibly by Friday this week.

The sales process of United is being handled by the Raine Group, who have been carefully considering both proposals.

And although the takeover has taken far longer than initially expected, it seems a verdict is now in sight. Indeed, sources close to the saga have warned that the imminent decision may only prove “another milestone of constant milestones” in the process.

Nonetheless, things can at least start moving forward once the preferred bidder is revealed.

And while the Glazers are said to prefer the Ratcliffe bid – not least as it retains a portion of interest in the club for themselves – it will be the Raine Group’s recommendations that will have most influence.

As such, there remains ‘cautious optimism’ that Ratcliffe’s Ineos bid will be the one that proves successful.

However, there remains a fear within his camp that the Qataris can ‘blow Sir Jim Ratcliffe out of the water’ at any given moment, such is their wealth.

Nonetheless, a decision will certainly be welcomed by United supporters. That will also mean Erik ten Hag having a better idea of what his summer budget will look like for signings.

The Glazers have, quite naturally, been reluctant to dip into their reserves to fund summer recruitment while the sales process has been ongoing.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe slammed by Nice captain

Should the Ineos bid succeed, United will not be the first club of which they have owned.

Indeed, their most promiment club is that of Ligue 1 Nice. And Ratcliffe has funded the signings of Aaron Ramsey and Kasper Schmeichel among others.

But Ineos also owns Swiss side FC Lausanne-Sport and are also third-equal owner of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team.

However, the 70-year-old’s running of the Nice has not gone down well with all parties. Indeed, former Arsenal captain Emmanuel Petit is one promiment figure to have questioned Ratcliffe’s regime.

And now Nice captain Dante has come out to publicly criticise his decision to try and buy United.

Dante told L’Equipe: “I think at some point you have to be clear in what you’re saying. To maintain a project, maybe you need to speak less about objectives. It is better to work in silence to create an environment of competitors. Because the expectation is even bigger, and then after, people are frustrated.

“The best thing is to prepare as quickly as possible for next season in order to start it well.”

Dante added: “Do you remember how many players came in at the end of the transfer window last summer? Six left, six arrived. It’s difficult in these conditions. Simply, we mustn’t make the same errors.

“If someone wants my opinion, the earlier we organise ourselves, the better it will be. If we want to aim higher, we have to anticipate things and put the values of the organisation in place.

“When the coach [Lucien Favre] arrived, we said in two years that we would always be in the Champions League. It doesn’t work like that. Ligue 1 is very difficult. We lost ten players, ten arrived. The teams in the semi-finals of big competitions play together for three, four years. We changed everything last summer.

“There is a lack of coherence somewhere. I am sorry to say that.”

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