Everything we know about Man Utd takeover as today’s board vote cancelled

Football Digest: Ratcliffe closes in on deal for 25% stake in Man Utd

Manchester United could agree a deal with INEOS owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who has reportedly put forward a £1.35billion offer to buy 25 per cent of the club. But the Red Devils won’t be rubber stamping the deal just yet as a board vote scheduled for Thursday has been cancelled. So the takeover debacle could be set to drag on, despite the fact that Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani pulled out of the process last week.

United’s Glazer family owners put the club up for sale last November, with a whole host of parties coming forward to express their interest in investing in the club. The two main frontrunners were Sheikh Jassim, who put forward a £5bn offer to complete a full takeover and Ratcliffe, who has always been open to obtaining a smaller stake in the club.

Negotiations have gone back and forth for months, with the Glazers after the very best deal for their prized asset. And Sheikh Jassim paved the way for Ratcliffe to win the investment race as he decided to take his final offer off the table months after putting it forward.

There had been whispers that Ratcliffe’s deal would be ratified at a board meeting on Thursday, with the investment process tipped to come to an end. But, according to The Telegraph, the 12-strong board will not vote on the deal as the final details are still being thrashed out.

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There remains some discussion to settle and there will be “no decision” this week. Sources close to the talks have insisted a deal is still in sight over the next fortnight, with Ratcliffe keen to get everything wrapped up as soon as possible to ensure he will be leading the football operations in time for next transfer window, which opens at the start of January.

The current shareholders aren’t guaranteed to get the entire £1.35bn as part of Ratcliffe’s deal, and the Glazers’ voting rights will be diluted as part of the package. The British billionaire also wants clauses attached that would allow him to eventually complete a full-scale takeover in the future.

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United fans have made their views towards the Glazers known in recent times and have regularly held protests outside Old Trafford in opposition to the current owners.

The players on the pitch also seem to have been affected by the drawn out takeover process and have already lost four matches in the Premier League this season as well as their opening two Champions League encounters.

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