Qatari Sheikh Jassim makes fifth and final offer for Manchester United

Qatari Sheikh Jassim makes fifth and final offer for Manchester United
Qatari Sheikh Jassim makes fifth and final offer for Manchester United

Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani has tabled a fifth buyout offer for Manchester United – but pledged to walk away if a deal cannot be done this week.

It is seven months since the Glazers invited interest and patience is wearing thin within the Qatari group launching a last gasp approach to secure a 100 per cent buyout.

With Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s rival offer being seriously considered, Sheikh Jassim has now put a Friday deadline on what sources insist will be his final offer.

The fifth offer was tabled this week and is the second time he has offered improved terms since the April 28 deadline for third and supposedly final bids.

Telegraph Sport reported earlier last month that the Jassim camp are attempting to liaise directly with the Glazers amid efforts to finally get a deal over the line.

The Qatari bidders are understood to believe they have been offering an enormous premium on the current share price of the club throughout the bidding process.

With the transfer window opening on June 14, Sheikh Jassim has ruled out the possibility of a sixth bid and has decided to end all engagement with the process this Friday. United manager Erik ten Hag is desperate for clarity over his budget and the ownership situation ahead of a critical summer for the club.

As of last week, the Glazers were still undecided on various contenders, although talks with Ratcliffe have been increasingly encouraging. He flew out to New York last month and is willing to buy up around half of the club’s influential B-shares at an appealing rate. However, there has been no guarantee yet from the American family’s inner circle that they are ready to declare the Ineos owner a preferred bidder.

With the target to get a deal done now almost two months overdue, United’s controversial owners are under intensifying pressure to finally make a decision ahead of the looming summer transfer window.

Behind the scenes of the sale process remains significant uncertainty, with claims and counter-claims emerging amid frayed tempers. The Qatari banker’s team is understood to have expressed a preference to deal directly with the Glazers rather than their bankers, the Raine Group. Figures close to talks suggested their latest offer on Tuesday was sent directly to the family rather than to the New York merchant bank on Tuesday. That claim is vehemently contested by other key insiders.

The increased bid from the chairman of the Qatar Islamic Bank remains for a 100 per cent purchase of the club. Included in the new terms is a fresh pledge to clear all of United’s existing debts and also set up a separate fund directed solely at the club and community, one insider added.

After the third round deadline passed on April 28, Ratcliffe was said to have come closest to reaching the Glazers’ £6 billion valuation. In addition to Ratcliffe’s offer to buy the Glazers’ 69 per cent shareholding, the billionaire founder of the petrochemicals giant Ineos also made a proposal to take a 50.1 per cent share for around $3bn that would allow the Glazers to retain a minority stake for three years before being automatically forced out.

The situation could now hinge on whether Joel and Avram – the United co-chairmen who have been the most reluctant of the six siblings to relinquish control – decide whether they want to retain a stake in the club or not.

Three American investment firms – Elliott Management, the Carlyle Group and Ares Management – are also offering to buy a minority stake, the proceeds from which could be earmarked to help redevelop Old Trafford, unless Joel and Avram used them to buy out their four siblings. They would then need financing to refurbish the stadium and training ground.