The Manchester United takeover process enters another week, but there is still little progress on who will win the race.
It has been close to seven months since the Glazers announced they would explore ‘strategic alternatives’ for investment, paving the way for a protracted bidding process which has left two front-runners: Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani and Sir Jim Ratcliffe.
Reports suggest both bids from Sheikh Jassim and Ratcliffe value the club north of £5.5billion, while speculation that the former is preparing for exclusivity talks has been quashed.
The summer transfer window opened on Wednesday and while Premier League rivals go about their business, United have been left in financial limbo. Erik ten Hag is reportedly shaking over the situation, which is hampering his transfer plans.
Most worrying for supporters are reports that due to the lengthy process of approving a bidder once they are given exclusivity, the Glazers could technically still be in charge at the start of next season.
Follow the latest updates, rumors and commentary on the Manchester United takeover in our live blog below.
United’s top priorities are clear as Sheikh Jassim and Ratcliffe progress
The battle to secure the keys to Old Trafford shows no signs of reaching its conclusion anytime soon.
The whole saga has been going on for almost seven months and United supporters are desperate for the situation to be resolved one way or another as soon as possible. But regardless of who wins the takeover battle, the club’s next custodian has some key priorities to address.
Click here to read more from our author Jack Flintham.
OPINION: Ten Hag faces fresh United transfer challenge this summer
“Unfortunately for Erik ten Hag, he won’t have the luxury of infinite wealth to fill those gaps, regardless of who cashes the checks when push comes to shove. United spent more than £200m last summer but were hit in January as a result. This summer’s transfer budget is initially expected to be around £120m, and if reports are to be believed, that won’t make much difference from the signing of a world-class striker. Big-money arrivals will almost certainly mean big-money goes out.”
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Sheikh Jassim’s previous role in football
Potential United owner Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani had a brief spell as president of a Qatari club in the early 2000s.
Sheikh Jassim is favorite to take over at Old Trafford after launching another bid for the club almost a fortnight ago, understood to mean 100 per cent ownership.
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United share price plateaus
After a rather quiet weekend in relation to United’s takeover saga, share prices have plateaued after a sharp rise last week.
As of this morning, the prices were at USD 23.71/share. That’s still much higher than it’s been over the last couple of weeks or so, but it’s down a bit from the high above $25 reached last Thursday.
OPINION: United owners are not doing what they promised in the takeover negotiations
“There is also no guarantee that the Glazers will go down the route of a full sell-off, of which the Qatar offer is the only one on the table. Momentum has gathered around Sheikh Jassim’s bid for 100% control again recently, but Joel and Avram Glazer still has the attraction of Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s offer, which would allow them to retain a minority stake for the time being.So uncertain is the process that even those offering minority investment and funding are said not to see themselves as out of the game. It’s taken seven months to still not really know what the Glazers are going to do.”
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Sheikh Jassim ‘willing to welcome’ Solskjær back
According to a report from Mirroris potential United owner Sheikh Jassim ‘willing to welcome’ former manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær back to Old Trafford.
The former striker was sacked by United back in November 2021 and has not returned to management since. However, he has previously hinted at returning to Old Trafford “in some capacity” at some point in the future.
It is now claimed that Sheikh Jassim could welcome Solskjær back to the club as part of his plans to ‘bring club legends back to Old Trafford’.
Ten Hag ‘angry’ at rice fan
According to a report by The sunUnited manager Erik ten Hag is ‘furious’ that uncertainty surrounding the club’s takeover process has dampened his hopes of adding Declan Rice to his squad this summer.
The West Ham United midfielder is a leading target for Arsenal and Manchester City have also registered their interest in his signature. However, the Reds also want to sign a midfielder this summer and Rice would have been an ideal candidate.
But the ongoing takeover situation has meant United have been unable to put their name in the ring for Rice’s signature, resulting in Ten Hag reportedly becoming frustrated.
Sheikh Jassim, sports washing and United influence
Manchester United could be used as an exercise in sports laundering if Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani were to take over the club, according to a leading academic expert.
Throughout the takeover process, Sheikh Jassim has vehemently denied links to the Qatari government and has made efforts to distance himself from any similarities between his bid and PSG’s ownership. The Parisians are owned by the Qatar Sports Investment group, which is overseen by the Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.
But concerns over sports laundering would continue, as they did with the Winter World Cup in Qatar. For many, the December tournament won by Argentina was an example of a sports wash, as the on-field drama overshadowed human rights abuses involving the migrant workers who helped build the stadiums.
Associate Professor at Rhode Island College and author of Changing Qatar: Culture, Citizenship, and Rapid Modernization Geoff Harkness explained the sportswashing concept amid a potential takeover of United by Sheikh Jassim.
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Good morning everyone and welcome to our LIVE United takeover blog this Monday.
It’s a new week and hopefully there will be significant developments to follow!