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Man Utd sale deadline pushed back to summer

Man Utd sale deadline pushed back to summer – Reuters/Phil Noble

The Glazer family are now targeting a sale of Manchester United before the transfer window opens in June should they decide to cash in on the club, Telegraph Sport understands.

The aim was to complete a deal within the first quarter of the year or by the end of April. But the prospect of that appears to be receding and it is thought that a sale before the transfer window opens in June is now considered a more realistic timeframe should the Glazers receive an acceptable offer, sources close to the process said.

The Americans want at least £5 billion to sell, but it is thought that the offers from Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani and Sir Jim Ratcliffe currently fall short of that valuation.

High ranking officials from the US hedge fund Elliott Management are understood to have met with counterparts from Raine, the merchant bank running the process, and the Glazers’ financial advisors Rothschild in Manchester on Thursday.

Representatives from Elliott were at Old Trafford on Thursday night to watch United beat Real Betis 4-1 in the Europa League. The discussions marked the beginning of the second stage of the sale process. Sheikh Jassim’s bid and Ratcliffe’s Ineos Group are due to attend detailed presentations at Old Trafford next week.

Sources with knowledge of the process claimed there are at least four parties interested in buying the club although only Sheikh Jassim and Ratcliffe have gone public with their bids.

Insiders have told Telegraph Sport that the Glazers, whose 18-year ownership of United has been marred by protests and fan fury, remain “determined sellers” at the right price. Bidders will be given access to more detailed financial information and the chance to closely examine Old Trafford and the club’s Carrington training base, both of which require substantial investment. “They’re going to have a chance to look under the bonnet,” one source said.

Elliott are not looking to buy the club like Sheikh Jassim or Ratcliffe but the US firm is prepared to help finance a takeover by an interested party. They previously owned AC Milan before selling the club to American investment group RedBird Capital last year. Other US hedge funds including Ares, MSD Partners and Oaktree Capital are also said to be willing to provide financing.

Meanwhile, it is expected that TeamViewer will remain as United’s shirt sponsors next season, well-placed sources have said. United announced in December that they were looking for a new shirt sponsor after agreeing to bring an end to their £235 million partnership with the German technology company – which is due to run until 2026 – once a new partner has been found.

Man Utd sale deadline pushed back to summer - Getty Images / Michael Regan

Man Utd sale deadline pushed back to summer – Getty Images / Michael Regan

Yet the timing of that announcement only left United with a small window of opportunity to secure a new sponsor before the process of manufacturing and sorting kits for next season got underway and there is little surprise among industry experts that TeamViewer are due to remain on next season’s shirts.

Sources said United were not going to rush the process, not least with the club up for sale, and remained determined to find the right partner in time. Richard Arnold, the United chief executive, was at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January where the club courted interest from potential sponsors. The technology sector is thought to be one market of interest.

TeamViewer have come under huge pressure from investors to get out of their deal with United – which runs until 2026 – given the company’s deteriorating performance. If, as expected, TeamViewer stays on United’s shirts next season, it is expected that the club will have a new shirt sponsor for the 2024/25 campaign.

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