Man Utd takeover: Legends of Sir Alex Ferguson era to be offered key roles at Old Trafford if Sheikh Jassim bid is successful
- Sheikh Jassim and Ratcliffe want full takeover
- Qatari bid includes roles for United legends
- Only Darren Fletcher holds one at present
WHAT HAPPENED? After a third round of bidding was completed almost two weeks ago, the Qatari offer led by Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani, chairman of Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB), remains one of two direct takeover bids alongside the one put forward by Sir Jim Ratcliffe's INEOS Group. In an attempt to better their British counterparts, the Qatari group plan to bring in several of United's greatest players for prominent roles at the club, ESPN has revealed.
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THE BIGGER PICTURE: The move would see players from the Red Devils' famed 1999 treble-winning squad, namely the homegrown heroes from the "Class of 92" group, such as Gary Neville and Paul Scholes, offered positions at Old Trafford. Players from more recent teams are also thought to be under consideration, such as the 2008 Champions League winners. ESPN reports that players from across Ferguson's 27-year reign as manager have already been contacted by representatives of Sheikh Jassim.
AND WHAT'S MORE: It is believed that United's lack of legendary players among the club's hierarchy is an issue that the Qatari bid will seek to address. The likes of Liverpool, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and AC Milan are all model examples that they intend to follow. At present, despite the unrivalled successes of the Ferguson era, technical director Darren Fletcher is the only former star employed in a senior role. Bryan Robson, Denis Irwin and Andrew Cole all hold ceremonial ambassador positions.
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WHAT NEXT FOR UNITED? Aside from the full takeover bids of Sheikh Jassim and Ratcliffe, it is believed that the Glazer family have received partial investment offers from United States-based groups Elliott Management, Ares, Sixth Street and Carlyle Group. There is no news as yet on the current owners' final decision, which has come under intense scrutiny and continues to have an effect on United's summer transfer plans.