Man Utd takeover: Sheikh Jassim launches 'take it or leave it' offer at 11th hour

Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani has submitted a 'take it or leave it' fourth and final bid to buy Manchester United, reports claim. The Qatari banker has arrived with an 11th-hour offer to turn the takeover race in his favour amid a belief that Sir Jim Ratcliffe was in pole position.

Ratcliffe was thought to have emerged as the preferred bidder last week, with his plan to allow Joel and Avram Glazer to retain a 20 per cent stake in the club.

But Sheikh Jassim isn't ready to lie down quietly and has tested the Glazer brothers' and the Raine Group's resolve before Ratcliffe's period of exclusive begins.

According to the Mail, Sheikh Jassim has submitted a fourth and improved bid after falling short of expectations at the third deadline. His offer is a significant improvement, and while it still values United lower than Ratcliffe's, the full fee would be paid immediately.

It would also clear the club's debt, last recorded at around £536million, and comes with promised investment in the playing squad, Old Trafford, the club's Carrington training base and further infrastructure.

The report claims that bidders hoped to learn who was preferred last week, despite murmurs suggesting Ratcliffe was set to be the successful party.

However, talks have been ongoing after Sheikh Jassim was offered the opportunity to throw his hat into the ring for a fourth time. It comes a day after Avram, one of two of the Glazer siblings keen to keep a stake in United, was pictured leaving the Claridges Hotel in London.

The Mayfair property is owned by Sheikh Jassim's father, which sparked speculation over whether the Women's FA Cup final was the only business he had travelled to the UK for.

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