The Qatari billionaire Sheikh Jassim has submitted a fifth and final bid to buy Manchester United and vowed to walk away from a possible deal if there is no progress by Friday.
As with his previous offers, also submitted via the Nine Two Foundation, it is for a complete takeover of United whereas the other principal bidder, the Ineos businessman, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, has been trying to buy the Glazer family’s 69 percent shareholding in stages.
The Raine Group, which has been running the process on behalf of the Glazers, has invited three rounds of bids since the American owners put the club up for sale in November.
Sheikh Jassim then submitted a fourth offer before returning this week with a fifth.
The process has been drawn out and the Qatari’s willingness to abandon his interest reflects his frustration with the Glazers, while Radcliffe had also hoped to conclude a deal by now.
The Mancunian’s camp have been in direct talks with United and Raine and his bids are understood to have valued the club at a higher amount, while Sheikh Jassim has insisted he would clear the club’s debts and provide additional funding.
The Glazers have also explored the possibility of minority investment, with hedge funds and investment firms including Elliott, Ares and Sixth Street all involved.