The United Sale Saga: Qatar’s Sheikh Increases Bid to Defeat Club's Boyhood Fan

Qatar's Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani’s new offer is reportedly closer to five billion pounds, and he aims to buy 100 percent of the club.

The Glazers, who currently own Manchester United, put it up for sale in November last year. The owners, too, stated that they are up for a direct sale apart from being open to inviting bids to buy the majority stake in the club.

Now Qatar's Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani made a late and improved final offer to The Glazers on Tuesday in order to buy Manchester United. With his increased bid, Sheikh Jassim is looking to move ahead of his main rival for control of the club, British petrochemical billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe, as reported by The Times. For the record, Sir Ratcliffe has been a diehard fan of Manchester United since his childhood.

The United sale saga

For those caught unaware, ever since Manchester United was up for sale, Sheikh Jassim and Ratcliffe's Ineos were the front-runners for buying the famous football club. At one point, Finnish businessman Thomas Zilliacus was also involved, but his bid soon fizzled out, and only the two main rivals remained.

According to a report by The Times in April this year, Ineos had earlier outbid Sheikh Jassim to buy Manchester United, and Ineos was the only bidder to have valued the club at more than 5 billion pounds.

But Sheikh Jassim’s new offer on Tuesday was closer to five billion pounds as well, and he is aiming to buy 100 percent of the stakes in the club. Clearly, the offer is competitive, and it not only includes clearing nearly 1 billion pounds worth of club debt but will also have a separate fund to redevelop Old Trafford and its surrounding area, along with the club's Carrington training ground.

Despite that, Sheikh Jassim's offer still lags behind the reported 6 billion pounds asking price set by the Glazers. On the other hand, Ineos placed Manchester United at a higher price, but it wasn't for the full stake. In Ineos’ deal, the Glazers will be able to retain 20 percent.

Both the club and the investment bank Raine Group, which is running the bidding, did not immediately respond to a comment from Reuters.

FA Cup final

Manchester United is currently fourth in the Premier League table. The team will play against their crosstown rivals, Manchester City, in the FA Cup final next month.