The bidders eyeing a takeover of Manchester United are now having second thoughts due to the club’s disappointing start to the 2023-24 Premier League season.
Last season, under the guidance of Erik ten Hag, the Red Devils had a successful campaign, finishing in third place in the league and even securing the EFL Cup.
However, with three losses in their first five league games this season, Manchester United finds themselves in the 13th position in the table, already trailing league leaders Manchester City by a significant nine points.
According to The Times, the team’s early-season troubles ‘is having a negative impact’ on the takeover situation, with bidders unlikely to meet the Glazer family’s asking price, which is thought to be in excess of £5bn.
A recent report claimed that Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani and Sir Jim Ratcliffe – the two main candidates to complete a takeover – are prepared to be patient when it comes to the takeover situation.
However, almost 10 months have passed since the Glazers first signalled a willingness to listen to offers.
Ex-Red Devils captain Gary Neville again slammed the club’s owners following Saturday’s home defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion in the Premier League.
There have been suggestions that the Glazers are preparing to take the club off the market, but it is understood that neither Sheikh Jassim nor Ratcliffe have been informed of any new developments.
Meanwhile, Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano has said that “the parties involved” in the takeover process “are nervous”.
“The Manchester United takeover saga continues to drag on, and all I’m hearing at the moment is that the parties involved don’t want to talk too much about what’s going on,” Romano wrote in his column for CaughtOffside.
“It’s a bit surprising because things seemed pretty advanced back in March, with the expectation being that it could be done by the summer, before the transfer window, but we’re at the same point.
“The feeling now seems to be that the parties involved are nervous – we had a lot of briefings earlier in the year but now they’re not commenting.
“At the moment there is nothing imminent, nothing confirmed, but the feeling of sources is that things are still happening behind the scenes of this story, so let’s see. For now things are being kept quiet and secret, but again the feeling is that things are happening.
“Maybe if they had been a takeover completed earlier, they would have had the chance to go for superstar players, with the likes of Harry Kane and Victor Osimhen being linked earlier in the year.
“In the end it was not possible because of United’s financial situation, so that was an issue because before the summer there were links with those kinds of players.
“Then the reality is United had to go for different players, with a different strategy because of their financial situation and Financial Fair Play. I don’t have any news about players rejecting United because of the situation with the takeover.”
Ratcliffe recently said that failing to purchase Man United at this stage was not an option for him.