Sir Jim Ratcliffe is said to be closing on an agreement to buy 25% of Manchester United.
After declining to raise his most recent offer, which is thought to have been in excess of £5 billion, Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani is said to have formally dropped his bid for the club.
The club’s present owners, the Glazer family, first made it known that they were willing to talk about a potential sale about a year ago.
Sheikh Jassim had only ever been interested in a 100% takeover, and it is alleged that he was willing to commit another £1.4bn to build a new stadium, improve the training ground and bring in new players.
However, rather than wait for the Glazers to reject his latest offer, it is understood that the Qatari has officially pulled out of the race in a huge development in the process.
Ratcliffe, the owner and founder of the INEOS Group, has been the subject of increasing amounts of rumour in recent days, with reports that he may be considering changing his offer.
According to reports, the British billionaire initially intended to offer for a full share in the club, but has since changed his mind and will only offer for 25%.
Ratcliffe is reportedly close to finalising a deal that will keep the Glazer family employed at the club, according to the Daily Mail.
According to the story, the lifelong supporter of Manchester United is determined to accomplish a progressive takeover, and his acquisition of 25% is seen as a crucial step in that direction.
Ratcliffe saw the offer as a chance to get his ‘foot in the door’ at this point in the process because the 25% share is anticipated to be approved at a board meeting the following week.
The Glazer family is said to have been deeply divided on the appropriate course of action, with at least two of the siblings reportedly having always opposed a full sale at this time.
According to recent rumours, the Glazers sought to increase Man United’s valuation towards £10 million because of the enormous sums of money flowing into the sport from Saudi Arabia.