Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd takeover: Sheikh Jassim wants €100m man to ‘betray’ Real Madrid and become first signing as Bellingham claims grow

Ferland Mendy, Aurelien Tchouameni, Federico Valverde, Thibaut Courtois, Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu

Ferland Mendy, Aurelien Tchouameni, Federico Valverde and Thibaut Courtois of Real Madrid

Manchester United’s prospective new owner Sheikh Jassim has reportedly outlined plans to bring one of Real Madrid’s star players to the club as his first signing at Old Trafford.

The Red Devils are currently locked in a takeover saga which has been ongoing since November. And with long-time owners the Glazer family now willing to sell, two main contenders have emerged in the race.

To that end, Sheikh Jassim and his Qatari investors have placed a £5.5bn package on the table that also plans to seriously invest in the team, the local area and wipe out the club’s £500m debt.

Meanwhile, Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s Ineos bid is reportedly worth £6bn – and also grants Joel and Avram Glazer to retain a share of their stake in the club.

Both offers are being handled by the Raine Group – and they will reportedly name their preferred bidder as soon as this week. Ratcliffe’s chances though have been dented after a very public criticism from a prominent player.

Perhaps the biggest threat though to Ratcliffe is the sheer volume of wealth Sheikh Jassim brings to the table. Indeed, their prospective purchase of the club could make the club serious contenders to sign some of the world’s elite stars.

Manager Erik ten Hag already has his eyes on three marquee signings this summer. To that end, a new striker and a new defender very much tops his wanted list.

However, reports in Spain claim Sheikh Jassim has his eyes on an even bigger spend. And they claim he’s ‘willing to write a blank cheque’ to persuade Federico Valverde to leave for United.

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Sheikh Jassim wants Federico Valverde at Man Utd

The report, in Nacional, claims Sheikh Jassim is ‘determined to repeat the operation’ that saw United raid Real for Raphael Varane and Casemiro.

Joining the club in successive summers, the multiple Champions League winners have both become mainstays of the United side.

Now, though, they could be joined at Old Trafford by Uruguay star Valverde, if the report proves accurate.

So desperate is Sheikh Jassim to sign the 24-year-old that he will seemingly pay whatever it takes to prise the midfielder to Old Trafford.

Furthermore, it’s claimed approaches have already been made to the player’s entourage. And they are reportedly making it clear they’ll ‘reward him with a much higher salary’ than he currently earns in Madrid.

In addition, it’s claimed there’s a strong belief in Sheikh Jassim’s camp that Valverde is willing to ‘betray’ Real Madrid.

Los Blancos soon hope to push through the signing of Jude Bellingham in a deal worth around £100m. And the England star’s arrival will likely ‘pose a threat’ to Valverde’s place in the side.

Man Utd takeover: Uruguayan star a primary objective

As a result, they claim the Sheikh has made the 49-times capped star a ‘primary objective’ if his takeover proceeds.

Ten Hag is reportedly on the lookout for would-be midfield recruits as he searches for a top-quality partner for Casemiro.

The likes of Frenkie de Jong and, more recently, Amadou Onana, been mentioned as potential targets for United.

However, Valverde is arguably the pick of the bunch after a brilliant season for Real. Indeed, he has 12 goals and six assists from 53 appearances over 2022/23, underlining his talents.

The report concludes that Sheikh Jassim could go as high as €100m to convince Real to sell.

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