One of the potential bidders for Manchester United was involved in Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to Al Nassr last month, according to respected journalist Ben Jacobs.
United’s current owners, the Glazer family, have set a ‘soft deadline’ of Friday for bids from interested parties, with the Daily Mail claiming last week that there were five ‘serious’ bidders for the club.
They include an investment group from Qatar, with reports from Bloomberg since revealing that Qatari investors are going to place a bid to buy the club.
The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) is said to be helping to prepare a bid, whilst it reportedly has the backing of the Emir of Qatar. It is unclear at this stage as to how the bid, if successful, will get around a UEFA rule which states that two clubs owned by the same entity cannot play in the same UEFA competition. The Emir, through Qatar Sports Investments (QSI), currently owns PSG.
Now, Jacobs has revealed more details about the identity of the bidders, and identified one link with United legend Cristiano Ronaldo.
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In a Twitter thread, Jacobs explained his understanding that the bid launched by Qatari investors, labelled as ‘strong’, will fall below the Glazers’ asking price of £6 billion.
He also reports that a private fund will be used as the bidding vehicle by Qatar, and that it is likely the group will go public once the bid is made. In addition, PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, and QSI, will not be directly involved with any interested party in United, according to sources.
Jacobs has also revealed that one possible bidder has links to Ronaldo, via the financing of the Portugal legend’s move to Al Nassr in December.
He claimed: “It’s anticipated there will be four-five credible suitors along with Qatar, including a bid from Saudi. Turki Al-Sheikh, a bit like Al-Khelaifi, has been sounded out, and Mohamed Al-Khereiji, who tried to buy Chelsea, remains one to watch.
“Al-Khereiji was also key to finding the funds that brought Cristiano Ronaldo to Al Nassr. And there are multiple groups from North America.”
Jacobs continued: “Sir Jim Ratcliffe remains the only bidder to go public. There is a feeling that if he fails to meet the Glazers valuation he could also explore pairing himself with another group.”