Sheikh Jassim has moved to play down speculation that he has won the race to buy Manchester United – but growing reports are adamant the deal is done and a firm announcement is expected imminently.
The Red Devils have been up for sale since November when the unpopular Glazers announced they were looking for fresh investment. Having been the majority shareholders of United since 2005, they stand to make a hefty profit on the family’s initial £790m investment.
Indeed, Avram and Joel Glazer, who inherited the shareholdings from their late father, Malcolm, appear to have milked the process for all it is worth.
However, it finally appears that an outcome to the long-running saga will soon be announced.
Sheikh Jassim has made a total of five bids, each one a little better than the last. Per reports, his successful offer is worth an estimated £6bn. The Qatari group behind him also plans to wipe out their £500m debts and invest in upgrading Old Trafford.
Furthermore, there will also be significant investment in the first-team squad.
As a result, it appears that Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS’ bid for control is due to fail. His offering was worth an estimated £5.5bn, but significantly also offered the Glazers the chance to keep a minority stake.
Heavy first-team investment was also on offer, though not to the same top-tier level as Sheikh Jassim.
Now it appears that the Qatari bid has been selected with the Sheikh already congratulated on his ‘successful’ takeover. Indeed, Qatari businessman, Zaidm Al-Hamdan, chairman of the Armasite Group, wrote on Twitter: “Congratulations to Shaikh Jassim Bin Hamad Bin Jassim on his acquisition of @manutd.”
Sheikh Jassim eyes five incredible signings for Man Utd
And while talk of an agreement has since been played down by sources close to the Sheikh, reports in Qatar claim an announcement will be made ‘very soon’.
Fahad Al Emadi, the editor of Al Watan newspaper, is adamant the news will soon become public.
“All the news received indicates the success of Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad bin Jassim’s acquisition of Manchester United, and the announcement of the deal will be very soon,” he said.
With the takeover now gathering pace, United are seemingly preparing for a significant injection of transfer cash.
Indeed, Tuesday’s Euro Paper Talk already has details of the first signing of the new era. And on July 1, the signing of Napoli’s Kim Min-jae will be made official in a £51.5m deal.
He will likely then be followed by Mason Mount from Chelsea. The Blues are seeking as much as £72m for the England midfielder. United’s opening offering, though, is likely to be some £20m less. Even so, there is a confidence that common ground will eventually be reached.
However, those two signings are just the start for United. And the Daily Express has details of three unbelievable signings in Sheikh Jassim’s sights designed to make the United contenders to win the Champions League.
Fist up, the article has labelled Kylian Mbappe as the Qatari’s dream signing. And with the World Cup winner making clear his desire to not sign an extension on a deal that expires next summer, the transfer door may be just about to open.
Real Madrid, Bayern Munich raids next for Man Utd
Better yet, PSG are also Qatari-owned too, potentially easing transfer negotiations. And with the Ligue 1 giants unwilling to lose him on a free, all the cards are seemingly lining up.
And it seems the Sheikh is not about to stop there either.
Per the Express, next on their radar are Eduardo Camavinga and Kingsley Coman.
The former appears likely to find himself squeezed out at Real Madrid by the arrival of Jude Bellingham. And with England star adding to a packed midfield that also boasts the likes of Aurelien Tchouameni, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Federico Valverde, it seems the former Rennes man could be allowed to depart.
However, any deal is unlikely to come cheap. And reports claim Los Blancos are seeking a fee of around €100m (£85m) for the 20-year-old.
As for Coman, the Frenchman is celebrating yet another title win with Bayern. Incredibly, he’s been a professional now for 12 seasons – and has won the title in each and every season.
Now 27, he scored nine times in 35 games this season. Bayern Munich boss Thomas Tuchel is open to the sale of Sadio Mane, Serge Gnabry and Leroy Sane this summer. Coman, though, is not thought to be one of those up for grabs.
That said, a sizeable offer would certainly give Bayern and Tuchel something to think about.
Were he to move to United, the club would hope he can continue his 100% title-winning record. However, while a first domestic league crown since 2013 is one ambition, the ultimate goal is wrestling back the UCL title won this season for the first time by Manchester City.