Manchester United takeover news: Emir of Qatar ‘£4bn bid’, Elon Musk claim and soft deadline

With the ‘soft’ deadline for Man United takeover bids on Friday, we take a look at all the latest surrounding the club’s potential takeover

Elon Musk has been linked with a takeover bid for Manchester United.

Manchester United’s takeover saga took another twist on Monday with reports that US billionaire Elon Musk has joined the race to buy the club.

The Twitter and Tesla owner is reportedly weighing up an offer in what could be a big week off the pitch for United with the ‘soft’ deadline for takeover bids from interested parties on Friday. Raine Group could potentially receive offers to purchase the club from as many as ‘five serious bidders’ by the end of the week, with Sir Jim Ratcliffe also among the interested parties.

That said, both Avram and Joel Glazer are also exploring the possibility of buying out their four siblings on the club board as they remain keen in the running of the club. With a matter of days remaining for interest to be formally registered, here is a look at some of the latest developments on the situation and who the expected bidders are at this stage of the process.

Emir of Qatar ‘set to make £4bn bid’

The emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, is set to make a bid in excess of £4bn ahead of Friday’s ‘soft’ deadline. That is according to the Guardian, who also claim those spearheading the bid will not go beyond £4.5bn despite the Glazers’ asking price of £6bn.

Musk ‘joins race’ as net worth revealed

Musk is now reportedly among the interested parties ready to make a bid for Manchester United.

That is according to the Daily Mail, who claim the Tesla and Twitter owner is weighing up whether the opportunity at Old Trafford is too good to pass up. The Glazer family put United up for sale in November and a ‘soft’ deadline has been put in place for Friday for interested parties to make an offer by the Raine Group.

Musk is said to have an enormous net worth of £157bn and could potentially join forces with an interested individual or group to become the figurehead of the bid. Musk has joked in the past that he would buy United but on this occasion the reports look to have a little more substance behind them, with the business tycoon said to be a boyhood fan of the club.

Avram and Joel Glazer exploring buying out siblings

United co-chairmen Joel Glazer and Avram Glazer are exploring the possibility of buying out their four siblings on the club board as prospective investors prepare to submit their proposals. A soft deadline of February 17 has been set for interested parties to formally outline their strategy three months after the Glazers announced they had started a process “to explore strategic alternatives to enhance the club’s growth”.

Avram Glazer was in Dubai last week amid interest in selling a minority stake to Qatari investors. Glazer principally visited the Gulf state to watch the cricket franchise he owns, the Desert Vipers, who lost in the International League T20 final on Sunday. Qatari Sports Investment’s ownership of Paris Saint-Germain means any Qatari approach would have to be through a consortium or an individual as Uefa rules prevent multi-ownership.

Read full story from our United correspondent Samuel Luckhurst here.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe

The British billionaire, who was the founder and remains the chairperson of global chemicals company INEOS Group, officially declared an interest in buying the club last month. A boyhood United supporter, Ratcliffe said to The Times through a spokesperson that “we have formally put ourselves into the process”.

Ratcliffe has previously met with Avram and Joel Glazer and initially expressed an interest in buying the club last August, having seen a last-gasp bid to buy Chelsea rejected in April. The 70-year-old from Failsworth also owns French club OGC Nice and Swiss side Lausanne-Sport, both through INEOS.

Qatari investors

The Daily Mail claim that plans are in place for Qatari investors to make a ‘mega-money’ move for United. Sources cited in these reports suggest that the group of Qatar-based investors comprises ‘private, high-wealth individuals’ based in the country.

The report also adds that the group is ‘separate’ from Qatar Sports Investments (QSI), who have owned French club Paris Saint-Germain since 2011 and more recently, in October last year, purchased a minority stake in Portuguese side Braga. While QSI is affiliated with the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), the country’s sovereign wealth fund, it is claimed that the money behind such a move for United would be from an ‘individual fund’ rather than a state-owned one.

Saudi Arabian parties

A further report from the Daily Mail claims that there are ‘multiple parties’ from Saudi Arabia that have already been given access to the club’s so-called ‘data room’ to view details of its financials. For that to be granted, those parties would have to have expressed their interest to Raine and also signed confidentiality agreements.

Despite that, there is said to be a lack of clarity as to whether a formal bid will follow. It is also stressed then none of the parties are affiliated with the country’s sovereign wealth fund, Public Investment Fund (PIF), which purchased Premier League rivals Newcastle United some 16 months ago.

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