Manchester United owners the Glazers are set to receive two new bids for the club this coming week, after Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani recently both had positive discussions with officials about a potential takeover.
The Glazers are seeking £6 billion for the sale of Manchester United, reportedly a much steeper valuation than what both Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim originally offered.
The two parties were closer to the region of £4.25 billion, but one US insider told Sky Sports that their initial bids were simply to begin the conversation of more worthwhile negotiations.
They said: “All the numbers people from the bidders will be working out the real value of the club over the next few days. They will be making second bids.
“The reality is their first bids were just indicative. In this process, the second bids next week are really the first serious bids.”
There is a growing confidence among the bidders that the Glazers are willing to sell the club, too, after meetings were conducted last week.
Qatari bank chairman Skeikh Jassim met Manchester United executives on Thursday, and now reports have emerged suggesting he is willing to “overpay” in order to ensure his bid is successful. He is expected to make his second offer by Wednesday evening.
Sky Sports’ Kaveh Solhekol said: “If the Glazers are serious about selling Manchester United, I think the club could change hands by the end of the season, before the transfer window opens in the summer.
“We can’t be sure what their criteria are for who they want to sell the club to. Will it be the right person or just who puts the most money on the table? If it was just down to money, you would think the Qataris would be able to outbid anyone. I’ve been told previously the Qataris were going to be sensible and not overpay wildly for Manchester United.
“But in the last couple of days, the mood music has changed a little bit. And I’m being told the Qataris really want to buy Manchester United and they are willing to overpay. But I think anybody who buys the club will have to do that – because the Glazers are asking for about £6bn.”
Sir Jim Ratcliffe discussed his offer with club chiefs in further detail 24 hours after Sheikh Jassim on Friday, and the Ineos owner is also preparing to present another deal to the Glazers.
Investment fund Elliot are still in discussions with Manchester United over a minority shareholding in the club, which would ensure the Glazers retain their majority stake in the club.