Man Utd 'preferred bidder emerges' as Qatari Sheikh Jassim & Sir Jim Ratcliffe go head to head to take over from Glazers | The Sun

THE Qatari-backed bid to buy Manchester United is supposedly the Glazers preferred option, according to a football finance expert.

Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani is fronting the proposal and is rivalling INEOS owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

The banker and son of the former prime minister of Qatar reportedly wants to buy the club out right.

However, his last bid supposedly fell just short of the Glazer family's £6billion asking price.

Meanwhile, Ratcliffe apparently wants to buy just over 50 per cent of the club to take the majority stake, therefore allowing brothers Joel and Avram to retain 20 per cent.

Sports finance expert Dr Dan Plumley believes the Americans would prefer to step back from Man Utd completely and take the large amount of cash.

He said to the Express: "If that is the price (£5-6bn) that the Glazers are wanting or at least are willing to sell at for a full takeover, my gut feeling on is that the Qatar bid is probably slightly preferred at the minute because it's a full takeover.

"Also, through the connections of that owner, you know that you could get access to funds further down the line to build the club because you've got to look at infrastructure, you've got to look at squad development, etc.

"It's not just the takeover price, it's all the other stuff that comes with it, so it does feel like that's the one that has the most clout."

Plumley admitted he was "speculating slightly".

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He also revealed when the next owner could potentially be in place.

Plumley said: "You should be doing the full background checks all the way around.

"That's the kind of time element to it, it might feel like it's dragged on from fan's point of view, but it was always likely to play out that way.

"It all seemed to be pointing towards a deal being done before the start of the next window so that the new owners potentially or investors could have plans in place for the summer and moving forward.

"I think we're still on that timeline. I know it probably feels like we've been talking about it forever, but it seems to be that we're moving towards that time scale still."

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