Manchester United are set to receive two record takeover offers though there are now concerns the Glazers will not sell the club amid confusion over the bid deadline.
Interested parties had until 9pm on Wednesday, a deadline which was set by US bank Raine Group, who are marketing the sale – to submit new offers after holding discussions with the club and being given access to their books last week.
Only two offers have been made public thus far, one from a Qatar-based group which is led by banker Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani and the other from INEOS founder Sir Jim Ratcliffe.
According to the Daily Mail, both parties were ready to make new offers believed to be worth up to £5bn shortly before Wednesday’s deadline.
But, it has now transpired that both groups asked for more time – likely the end of this week – to make their proposals, with the extensions now granted by Raine.
There were suggestions that as many as eight offera could be made this evening, though those two bids are reported to be the only ones offering to buy the whole club with other proposals offering minority stakes or potential financing.
A bid in the region of £5bn would make the takeover the most expensive in the history of sports, eclipsing the $4.65bn (£3.8bn) sale of NFL team the Denver Broncos last year.
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But, that valuation is shy of the £6bn that is being demanded by the Glazer family, while there are even reports claiming they believe the club is worth closer to £8bn.
The Sun is claiming that Raine have now extended the deadline for all offers until Friday due to a lack of offers besides those from Sheikh Jassim and Ratcliffe, with the Glazers hoping that more bids will come out of the woodwork.
With fears over a lack of genuine competition to buy the club – compared to the number of buyers that lined up to take Chelsea off Roman Abramovich’s hands – there are concerns the current offers will not be enough to convince the Glazers to sell.
The Mail’s claim suggests neither Sheikh Jassim nor Ratcliffe are ready to pay a figure that they believe is over the odds and are unlikely to increase their bids any further.