Man Utd get late-night American bid! Ex-AC Milan owners enter £5bn takeover chase - but could allow Glazer family to keep financial ties to club

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The race to take over Manchester United took a further twist late on Friday night with the emergence of a bidder from the United States.
  • Hedge fund Elliott enter race
  • INEOS bid tabled
  • Qatari interest also registered

WHAT HAPPENED? While bids from Sir Jim Ratcliffe's INEOS and Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani were already public knowledge, The Times have reported a further bid from the American hedge fund, Elliott, that arrived just before the Friday night deadline set by the bank handling the sale. That bid, however, may only be for a partial stake. If that's the case, it could leave the door open for the Glazer family to maintain a small investment in the club.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: The full extent of the Elliott bid remains unclear, with the fund ruling themselves out of a complete takeover of the club, instead offering to provide funding for another bidder. What emerges from their interest may see them take a stake, provide debt funding or an element of both, according to the report. Their entrance on the scene may therefore trigger interest from a party that previously lacked the funding to bid, in the case the Glazers are dead-set on fully exiting the Old Trafford organisation.

AND WHAT'S MORE: The billionaire group, headed by Paul Singer, has previous football ownership experience having purchased AC Milan in 2018 before subsequently selling the club to RedBird Capital last summer for €1.2 billion.

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Old Trafford Manchester United Outside View

Sir Jim Ratcliffe

Glazer family Manchester United

DID YOU KNOW? With multiple potential buyers in the frame, the eventual deal may well break the world record for the sale of a sporting entity, eclipsing the £3.86bn ($4.65bn) paid for the NFL's Denver Broncos last year.

WHAT NEXT FOR MANCHESTER UNITED? The race to buy United is heating up and the events of the last 24 hours will be music to the Glazer family's ears. While the INEOS and Qatari bids are straightforward buyouts, the arrival of the Elliott on the scene opens up the intriguing possibility of further twists and turns.