Man Utd ‘set to extend takeover deadline’ unless Qatari bid arrives

Ten Hag outlines what Man Utd must do in Champions League quest

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Manchester United owners the Glazers could decide to extend their deadline for bids from interested parties if a Qatari offer is not submitted before the close of play on Friday, according to reports. The Red Devils were put up for sale by their current owners towards the end of last year and several parties have since been credited with a desire to buy the club at some point over the next few months.

Investment groups from Qatar and Saudi Arabia have been tipped to make big-money bids for United over the last few weeks, while Ineos chief Sir Jim Ratcliffe is also known to have concrete interest in taking over his boyhood club. However, it seems as though Qatar are the most likely suitors at this stage of proceedings, with a state-backed offer thought to be in the works as things stand.

The Glazers initially decided to set a deadline for initial bids for the end of Friday, although they could simply choose to push it back by another two weeks if they are not satisfied with any proposals on the table, according to The Independent. It is claimed that this is likely to happen unless a Qatari bid is tabled before this weekend, with those in power at Old Trafford still believed to be waiting to see what happens.

Any opening offers are reportedly unlikely to match the Glazers’ valuation of around £5billion, which has led many prospective bidders to believe that they might simply go back on their word and ultimately decide to keep the club for the foreseeable future. It remains to be seen how the situation will play out over the coming days, though, with it likely to depend on whether or not any bids are tabled before the end of this week.

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It has been reported that UEFA could decide to block any Qatari bid for United due to a potential conflict of interest in the Champions League given that Qatar Sports Investments owns Paris Saint-Germain. However, there is a chance that European football’s governing body will not stand in the way as long as they are satisfied that United and PSG will have separate management and distinct corporate structures which do not collude.

Qatar is not thought to be interested in purchasing a minority stake in the club and would have plans to rebuild Old Trafford and modernise United’s training base at Carrington, which could add another £1.2bn to the overall investment package. The prospect of some extra money to regenerate the land around Old Trafford would reportedly provide important political momentum in the UK as it would match a key government aim of levelling up local communities.

The Red Devils would certainly be poised to reap the rewards of large-scale investment as they look to return to Europe’s footballing elite under the guidance of Erik ten Hag over the next few years. The Dutchman has already acknowledged that cash is king and recently sent a message to any potential new owners by highlighting the importance of spending power after the Glazers held back from splashing out on new players in the January transfer window.

“For a long time I think the Premier League was always a two-horse race, but now I think it’s a six, seven, eight-horse race,” said Ten Hag earlier this month. “It’s about strategy but also, of course, it’s about finance. I am here to manage the team, to get the best out of them, and of course I have a job in bringing the right players in.”

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