Fans outside the Old Trafford stadium in Manchester ahead the...

Fans outside the Old Trafford stadium in Manchester ahead the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Southampton, England, Sunday, March 12, 2023. Credit: AP/Jon Super

MANCHESTER, England — Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani has stepped up his attempt to buy Manchester United by stating his intention to make a second bid for the iconic soccer team.

The chairman of Qatar Islamic Bank has said he wants to return the club to the summit of the sport if he is successful in buying out current owners the Glazer family.

Both Sheikh Jassim and British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe submitted indicative offers last month.

Sheikh Jassim's latest bid for an unconfirmed amount will be made to American merchant bank Raine, which is handling the potential sale.

A person with knowledge of the process confirmed Raine had been informed of Sheikh Jassim's plans to submit a fresh bid. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to comment publicly.

United is expected to become the the most expensive sports team in history, with the price estimated to reach up to $6 billion.

Sheikh Jassim and Ratcliffe are the only contenders to have publicly declared their intention to buy the 20-time English league champions.

Businessman Jim Ratcliffe leaves Old Trafford, in Manchester, England, Friday...

Businessman Jim Ratcliffe leaves Old Trafford, in Manchester, England, Friday March 17, 2023. Bidders are getting a closer look at Manchester United as the potential sale of one of the biggest soccer clubs in the world gathers pace. Credit: AP/Peter Byrne

Sheikh Jassim, the son of a former Qatari prime minister, sent a delegation to Manchester last week to meet with United executives ahead of his latest offer.

Ratcliffe, owner of petrochemicals giant INEOS, also held meetings with United last week.

Sheikh Jassim is said to be confident in his bid to buy 100 percent of the club and plans to invest in the stadium, training ground and playing squads.

Ratcliffe has spoken of his intention to take a “fan centered” approach to ownership, adding that he is focused on the winning the Champions League for the first time since 2008.

Last year, Raine handled the sale of Chelsea to Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital for about $3 billion. The Denver Broncos were also sold last year to Walmart heir Rob Walton and his daughter and son-in-law for a record $4.65 billion.

The Glazers announced in November that they were exploring “strategic alternatives." It is not certain they will cede total control of the club they have owned since 2005, with minority investment also a possibility.


James Robson is at

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