Elliott Management enter the fray to buy Manchester United

Elliott Management have made an offer to buy a minority stake of Manchester United, potentially changing the landscape of the sale. The Independent has been told the bid, which was submitted before Wednesday night’s 9pm deadline, is for a small stake in the club.

Figures involved with the process have long maintained that the Glazers staying on with such a deal is an option that cannot be ruled out.

The Independent had been told three weeks ago that Elliott was planning a bid for a minority stake, only for the group to say that was “categorically untrue”. While it is maintained that the offer was only decided upon after a tour of United last Thursday, numerous sources insist it has been considered for some time.

The controversial investment group previously owned AC Milan and the move into English football is understood to represent a developing policy on the UK arm of the business.

The United sale process descended into farce on Wednesday when the INEOS and Qatar groups made clear they were submitting bids – with sources even insisting that was already the case – only for both to ask for extensions.

The second deadline was nevertheless always seen as “soft”, and there was never any realistic possibility of either major bidder being discounted. Numerous sources meanwhile maintain there has been some frustration with how the process has played out in public.