Manchester United’s takeover saga looks set to face another dramatic week amid claims both Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim will both present restructured deals to try and persuade the Glazer family to sell up.
The unpopular American owners have held control of the Red Devils since 2005 when Malcolm Glazer bought the club in what now appears a bargain £790m deal. However, with the reign attracting plenty of criticism and protests, it seemed the end was close when, back in November, the Glazers put United up for sale way.
And while two main parties have come to the fore in Ratcliffe’s INEOS and the Qatari-led consortium fronted by Sheikh Jassim, neither party is yet to satisfy the cash-thirsty Glazers to sell to them.
The Ratcliffe bid is reportedly worth around £5.5bn, although under his offer the Glazers would retain a small minority stake.
Sheikh Jassim’s bid, meanwhile, is reportedly worth nearer £6bn, with a promise to wipe out the club’s debts, estimated to be at around £500m.
With neither offer accepted, reports this week suggested Ratcliffe was preparing a restructured deal in an effort to speed up the process and present the Glazers with an offer they couldn’t refuse.
However, not wanting to be beaten, that has led to claims that Sheikh Jassim will also do the same this week in an effort to win favour with the Raine Group, the financial advisors appointed by the Glazers to handle the takeover saga.
And while neither party has yet to meet the Glazers’ valuation – which according to reports is said to be as high as £10bn – the Qataris hope a new offer will leave them as the outstanding choice.
Report names four Man Utd stars who will leave in January following takeover
Should Sheikh Jassim’s takeover go through – and according to reports a new deadline of late October has been set – it will likely prompt a serious influx of star players at United.
To that end, the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Federico Valverde are among those to be linked with moves to Old Trafford.
However, the Daily Express also claims in a report that four current players will likely be shown the door first to make room for the influx of new talent.
And while Scott McTominay cost United nothing given his development through the academy, a trio of other big-name stars tipped to leave have cost United a staggering £211m in fees over the years.
First up will be Jadon Sancho, amid claims this week that his January sale now looks the only outcome after his very public falling out with Erik ten Hag.
United will need to take a significant financial hit on their £73m investment in the 23-year-old winger, who has been frozen out after publicly calling out his manager on social media following his omission from the squad that lost 3-1 to Arsenal on September 3.
Sancho has been linked with a number of other Premier League clubs, including Newcastle and Chelsea, while there is also interest from abroad in the form of Barcelona.
Martial and Harry Maguire among four to leave Man Utd
Indeed, Barca are also keen on his United teammate Anthony Martial, who has cost United a total of £58m, including add-ons, from Monaco.
Martial has never quite found his consistent best at United and, with his deal due to expire next summer, he will likely move on for a nominal fee.
And finally, the club will also push deposed former captain Harry Maguire out the door too, following his demotion to fourth-choice centre-half under Ten Hag.
The England man is still a regular for his country but he accepts he will likely need to move on in January to help secure his place in the 2024 European Championship squad.
He has featured in just two games for United so far this season. But given his advancing years – he will turn 31 in March – together with his depreciating value, United can expect to take a huge hit on the £80m fee they forked out to Leicester back in summer 2019.
The exits of the quartet will not come as a surprise though fans will be eager to see who is brought in to replace them amid claims an exciting new era could soon be arriving at Manchester United.