Qatari investors linked to the country’s royal family could make bid for Manchester United; the investors have registered their interest with the Raine Group, who want bids in by next week; Glazer family announced in November they are open to selling the club or seek new investors.

Private investors linked to the Qatari royal family are considering making a bid to buy Manchester United, one of four “serious” bids expected next week.

The investors were contacted to see if they would be interested in buying United and have now registered their interest with the Raine Group, the investment bank who are marketing the sale of the club.

Raine have asked for bids to be submitted by the end of next week and at least four serious bids are expected.

There are likely to be bids from Sir Jim Ratcliffe, USA and Saudi Arabia, alongside Qatari investors.

Ratcliffe is working with JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs. JP Morgan worked with the Glazers when they bought United in a £790m leveraged buyout in 2005. Ed Woodward was at JP Morgan at the time and worked on the deal.

Although the Qatari investors are interested, they will not overpay for the club. The Glazers are believed to be looking for a sale price of £6bn, with the club valued at £3.2bn on the New York Stock Exchange.

United shares were up almost nine per cent on Thursday and closed at near record high of $25.39, valuing the company at $4.18bn. The share price has doubled since Glazers effectively put the club up for sale in November.

Qatar has made no secret of the fact it wants to invest in more sports to build on what it sees as the success of the World Cup.

The investors involved in the United process are not Paris Saint-Germain owners Qatar Sports Investments.

JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs are also prepared to provide financing to cover Manchester United’s existing £660m debt if Ratcliffe decides to bid for the club. United have lost £230m over past three years.

JP Morgan was a major backer of the European Super League project 18 months ago.

Goldman Sachs are also advising Liverpool along with Morgan Stanley as the club’s owners look to sell some or all of their shares.

Source: Sky Sports

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