Qataris readying Man Utd takeover! Prospective new owners 'confident' of buying club and handing Ten Hag transfer war-chest with bid expected within days
WHAT HAPPENED? The Glazer family, Man Utd's current owners, set a mid-February deadline for any potential buyers, and a Qatari group are "confident" of outbidding the competition, according to The Daily Mail. Should the deal go through, manager Erik ten Hag will have massive financial backing to help United push to the top of English football.
Man Utd are asking for more than £6 billion ($7.2b) for the club, and want any bid to include a plan to redevelop Old Trafford, a project that could cost a further £2bn ($2.4b).
The Qatari investors have no interest in a partial stake and are pushing for a total takeover. They will face competition from Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Britain's richest man, who has already made it known that he would be interested in buying the club. Ratcliffe is a lifelong United fan.
Any takeover would need Premier League approval and would likely be met with significant opposition due to Qatar's human rights record.
THE BIGGER PICTURE? A takeover of such magnitude would immediately make Man Utd one of the richest clubs in Europe, with unseemly transfer funds available. However, it could lead to some issues in European competition. PSG are already owned by Qatar Sports Investments, and although it has been reported that the United takeover would come from separate investors, UEFA rules prevent two clubs with overlapping membership from playing each other.
WHAT THEY SAID? Sources told the Mail that the investors want to build on the success of Qatar's 2022 World Cup bid.
"[The investors] also want to build on the success of the World Cup. They recognise that Manchester United is the biggest football club in the world, the crown jewels, and there is a steely-minded determination to buy it and get it to where it should be," they said.
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WHAT NEXT FOR MAN UTD? The club remains up for sale, but official bids have to be finalised by mid-February, with an official takeover due to follow in the months after.