Ten Hag – We should have scored four and Rashford was definitely fouled

Manchester United is up for sale. The club has been owned by the Glazer family since 2005 but the Americans announced in November last year that they would be putting the club up for sale following years of unrest and fan protests surrounding their ownership.

Today marks the first stage of that process with a soft deadline for potential takeover proposals to be submitted to the Glazers by 10pm GMT alongside a formally registering of any possible bidders interest. The document which will hold the proposal must include a paragraph-long statement from the interested buyer explaining how much of the club they want to own and what their offer is.

At this stage Sir Jim Ratcliffe is the only interested party to publicly announce his interest in taking over Manchester United. He is Britain’s richest man, who also owns French club Nice, and is a boyhood United fan. He confirmed in January he will be making a bid.

On the pitch, Erik ten Hag’s men travelled to Barcelona last night for the first leg of their Europa League play-off game. The host took the lead through Andreas Christiansen’s header before Marcus Rashford equalised and a Jules Kounde own goal but United in front. They couldn’t hold onto that lead though and Raphinha slotted home a lovely curling finish to beat David De Gea and keep the tie delicately poised ahead of the return leg at Old Trafford next week.

Follow along as we bring the latest updates on Manchester United’s sale and reaction from their draw with Barcelona:


Qatari Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani confirms bid to purchase Manchester United

Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani has confirmed a bid for Manchester United, releasing a statement to say he intends to purchase the entirety of the Old Trafford club and restore the Red Devils to “former glories both on and off the pitch”.

Al Thani is the chairman of the Qatar Islamic Bank and, in a press release made on the Sheikh’s behalf, is noted as a lifelong Man United supporter.

He further claims that there will be no debt placed upon the club in the purchase and that the intention will be to invest in both men’s and women’s teams “with a particular focus on youth development”, along with “significantly” upgrading the club’s stadium.

Full statement and further details here:

Karl Matchett17 February 2023 22:47


All confirmed bids for Manchester United sale as deadline looms

The club’s owners, the Glazer family, announced last November they were conducting a strategic review, with the sale of United one option being considered.

American merchant bankers Raine were brought in to assist the club in assessing offers, and on Friday it is thought anyone interested in buying must formally indicate their interest and submit proof of funds.

Ahead of the deadline, here are all the details of those expected to bid:

Michael Jones17 February 2023 20:00


Manchester United appoint new director of football operations from Everton

The Red Devils have made a number of appointments at Carrington recently, including Andy O’Boyle as deputy football director.

O’Boyle’s role sees him focused on football strategy and performance, with Harrison focusing on operational aspects at the club. Both report to football director John Murtough.

Harrison started his career in the Old Trafford ticket office before moving to Everton in 1995, going onto become club secretary in 2002 and director of football operations in 2018.

Michael Jones17 February 2023 19:45


Erik ten Hag reacts to Manchester United takeover talk

Erik ten Hag and his players are following the ongoing takeover talk but the Manchester United manager says there is no chance of their focus wavering as they fight on four fronts.

The Glazer family completed their controversial leveraged takeover at Old Trafford in 2005, with initial success on the field drying up after Sir Alex Ferguson retired a decade ago.

United have not won any silverware since 2017 and Ten Hag took over at a time of palpable fan anger against the ownership given the debt, dividends and perceived mismanagement.

November’s announcement that the Glazers were conducting a strategic review brought hope to frustrated supporters, with the sale of United one option being considered.

Michael Jones17 February 2023 19:30


Barcelona midfielder Pedri to miss Europa League second leg against Manchester United

It leaves the tie finely poised ahead of the return fixture at Old Trafford, but Barcelona have discovered the extent of an injury to key midfielder Pedri and the Spanish international will be missing for that second leg.

One of head coach Xavi’s go-to starters, 20-year-old Pedri has been a fixture in both the Barcelona and Spain football lineup since his breakthrough in 2020/21. However, he went off injured shortly before half time against the Red Devils and tests have revealed a muscle issue which will sideline him for up to five weeks, report Sport.

A hamstring strain will see him miss up to seven matches, with the Copa del Rey semi-final against Real Madrid and a LaLiga fixture against Valencia also on Barca’s upcoming run. With the second leg against Man United only a week away, Xavi will need to plan a midfield without him – with Gavi usually the most likely candidate to move from the attacking line back into midfield, but with the 18-year-old also absent for that match due to suspension.

Michael Jones17 February 2023 19:15


Marcus Rashford’s rich vein of form can usher in Manchester United’s long-awaited dominance

It was another game that made it feel like Marcus Rashford’s season, even his world, but there is an alternate timeline where he was on the other side.

Way back in the 2018-19 season, Barcelona were making serious overtures for the Manchester United forward. Eric Abidal was intent on Rashford, and the belief was they could get him.

The player himself wasn’t as intent, though, and was ultimately only interested in staying at United. Figures within Barcelona would later talk of Rashford “bottling it”, something rather ironic given how that season’s Champions League campaign ended at Anfield.

They are thinking rather differently now, after this Europa League match at Camp Nou. Almost everyone was wowed. Rashford was all they could talk about. It was one of those nights when the Catalan and Spanish media are just taken aback by a “star”, someone they have to have.

Michael Jones17 February 2023 19:00


Barcelona’s rep jeopardized by payments to former referee

Barcelona, the team that once awed the soccer world with its beautiful style on the field and its social commitment to being “more than a club,” is in danger of tarnishing its reputation with a scandal of its own making.

Although the club denies doing anything wrong, a Spanish state prosecutor is probing Barcelona’s payment of millions of dollars over several years to a company that belonged to the vice president of the refereeing committee in Spain.

Spanish soccer has been reeling since the story broken by radio station SER Catalunya earlier this week said Barcelona had paid 1.4 million euros ($1.5 million) from 2016-18 to a company belonging to former referee José María Enríquez Negreira, who was a part of the Spanish soccer federation’s refereeing committee from 1994-2018. Barcelona says the money was for techincal reports on referees and youth players. Those payments, which have yet to be linked to any illegal or improper activity by the club, came to light as part of a tax probe into the company.

Michael Jones17 February 2023 18:45


Is Qatar really buying Manchester United?

It was around the turn of the year that the Raine Group, who are handling the sale of Manchester United, approached Qatari state investors over whether they would be interested in purchasing the club. Sources with knowledge of the discussions say the response was initially lukewarm, in part because they thought it was a “fishing expedition” and there was doubt about how much the Glazer family owners really want to sell. This is one of the questions that clouds this week, and could yet ensure that Friday isn’t as decisive a day in the history of England’s biggest club as has been built up.

It is at least bigger than Thursday’s match against Barcelona, which is saying something about why the situation is where it is. As historically resonant as this fixture at Camp Nou is, it’s also a Europa League tie that used to be a Champions League tie, which has played its part in making the Glazers wonder over whether now is the time to sell.

There are only a few things in this whole process that can be said with certainty right now. As first reported by The Independent as far back as August, the Glazers are interested in a sale but want £5bn for the club.

Michael Jones17 February 2023 18:30


Qatari investors reportedly set to bid for Manchester United

The report described the investors as “a group of private, high-wealth individuals” from Qatar, which hosted the 2022 World Cup.

United declined to comment when contacted by Reuters.

Michael Jones17 February 2023 18:15


Man Utd LGBTQ+ supporters group expresses ‘deep concern’ over takeover

Manchester United LGBTQ+ supporters’ group the Rainbow Devils have raised “deep concern” regarding some of the parties reportedly interested in buying the club.

Reports suggest a bid from a fund linked to Qatar – where same-sex relationships are criminalised – could be imminent, while there is also rumoured Saudi Arabian interest in the club.

Friday evening marks the so-called ‘soft deadline’ for bidders keen to buy United to register their interest and provide proof of funds with merchant banking firm Raine.

Hours before that deadline, the Rainbow Devils have decided to speak out.

Michael Jones17 February 2023 18:00

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