MANCHESTER UNITED are close to entering the next phase of a sale with several interested parties jostling to purchase the club.
Raine Group is overseeing the sale and has imposed a deadline of February 17 for bids to be submitted.
The Glazers are looking for around £6billion but initial offers could be worth around £4bn.
The Americans may have to settle for a price lower than their valuation because of the cost of redeveloping Old Trafford – which some estimate could be £2bn with the stadium potentially needing to be demolished and rebuilt.
Some parties have already made their interest public and the Glazers reportedly have held talks with certain groups.
The Glazers even set up a pop-up shop in Davos, Switzerland, in a bid to raise the club’s profile amongst wealthy clientele.
It appears to have worked as there is no shortage of interest in the club, and here SunSport examines those looking to complete a takeover.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe
Ratcliffe, who is worth £15bn, first registered his interest last summer.
A spokesperson back then said: “If the club is for sale, Jim is definitely a potential buyer.
“This is not about the money that has been spent or not spent.
“Jim is looking at what can be done now and, knowing how important the club is to the city, it feels like the time is right for a reset.”
Ratcliffe has investments in several sports, including football with Ligue 1 side Nice, as well as pro cycling team Ineos Grenadiers.
He was in the running to buy Chelsea last year but lost out to Todd Boehly.
The Glazers have reportedly held talks with a group of Qatari investors over a potential takeover.
Crucially, the money behind the group is from an individual fund rather than a sovereign wealth fund, meaning they are separate from PSG owners QSI.
But they are still believed to be enormously wealthy and would invest in Old Trafford and the playing squad.
They are allegedly seeking to buy the club for around £4.1-£4.5bn, with a further £2bn to be spent on stadium redevelopment.
A bid is expected in the coming days with the Qataris said to be confident they can blow their competition out of the water.
Key to their bid is backing Erik ten Hag in the transfer market.
But they also plan to put fan engagement at the heart of their takeover bid and they will seek the views of supporters on the future of Old Trafford.
They are prepared to knock down the stadium and build a state-of-the-art facility, with money not a problem.
United co-owner Avram Glazer reportedly held talks with a group from Saudi Arabia in Doha during the World Cup.
He described the negotiations as a “process” and so far a group from the country is yet to publicly declare an interest.
The Saudi Public Investment Fund [PIF] bought Newcastle in 2021, and another Saudi consortium could look to follow up by buying the Red Devils following Toon’s success.
Saudi sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Faisal revealed there is widespread interest in the Premier League in the gulf state and he believes a bid could come from the private sector.
He said: “From the private sector, I can’t speak on their behalf, but there is a lot of interest and appetite and there’s a lot of passion about football.
“It’s the most-watched league in Saudi and the region and you have a lot of fans of the Premier League.
“We will definitely support it if any [Saudi] private sector comes in, because we know that’s going to reflect positively on sports within the kingdom.
“But if there’s an investor willing to do so and the numbers add up, why not?”
David Beckham-led consortium
The United icon could front a consortium looking to buy the club and his knowledge of the club could be handy in takeover negotiations.
He also has experience in club ownership at Inter Miami, while he is a director at Salford.
Becks, 47, is believed to be worth around £370million but likely has contacts who would be able to afford the £6bn asking price.
Former team-mate Rio Ferdiannd expects Beckham to make an approach but as yet there is no offer from the superstar on the table.
Interest from the £2trillion company emerged in November with CEO Tim Cook said to have been lining up talks with the bosses in charge of overseeing a sale.
They were believed to be preparing a £5.8billion bid for the Red Devils with Apple primarily interested in the commercial opportunities that owning such a big club would bring.
Apple also planned to build a new stadium but there has been little progress in their supposed bid to buy the club.
As a result, it would be a surprise if an offer was made before next week’s deadline.
The Spanish billionaire is one of the richest men in the world thanks to his £49bn fashion empire, which includes shops like Zara and Bershka.
Ortega, 86, emerged as a potential buyer in November.
He also held discussions with United executives but talk of a takeover has since died down.
As a result, a bid may not be forthcoming though ortega does have to wealth to fund a takeover and the necessary rebuild on and off the pitch.