Man Utd takeover: Manager hopes Ratcliffe bid succeeds; Cantona ‘ban’ and Romano update

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Man Utd bidder Sir Jim Ratcliffe poses outside Old Trafford Credit: Alamy
Man Utd bidder Sir Jim Ratcliffe poses outside Old Trafford Credit: Alamy

Nice manager Didier Digard will “be happy” for Sir Jim Ratcliffe if the INEOS founder’s attempt to take over Man Utd is successful.

The Red Devils announced in November that the board was exploring strategic alternatives to enhance the club’s growth, with a full sale one option being considered.

April 28 was the third, and what is expected to be final, deadline for parties to make offers to buy the club, with Sheikh Jassim and Ratcliffe both submitting fresh bids.

Now the Glazer family must decide how they want to proceed – a process that threatens to damage the progress made during Erik ten Hag’s first season in charge.

Man Utd are on course for a top-four finish and have the chance to add the FA Cup to the Carabao Cup when they play neighbours Man City at Wembley next month.

A report over the last 24 hours in The Sun has claimed that the Glazers have selected Ratcliffe as their preferred bidder with the American owners ‘finally ready to sell’.

If proven to be true then INEOS and Ratcliffe would add Man Utd to a growing list of clubs that they own, including French side Nice and Swiss outfit FC Lausanne Sport.

When asked in an interview with RMC Sport if he was worried about the situation, Nice boss Digard replied: “No, very sincerely.

“For me, Manchester United is something else. I don’t think we’re dependent on that at all.

“The boss has made such an investment in Nice that, sincerely, if he can give himself the gift of Manchester United, I would be happy for him because we know that it is something that is close to his heart.

“Above all else we know that he won’t disengage from OGC Nice. So, for us, that won’t change anything. I can guarantee to you that people are giving 100% to make this club grow.”

Reports of Ratcliffe’s imminent takeover could be a relief to Man Utd legend Eric Cantona with the Daily Star claiming that the Frenchman ‘could be blocked from working as a club ambassador should Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani’s takeover bid be successful’.

Gary Neville, Paul Scholes other legends from the Red Devils’ iconic teams under Sir Alex Ferguson will be ‘offered key roles’ if Sheikh Jassim takes control but the Daily Star insist that ‘Cantona’s firm stance over Qatar, which led to him boycotting the World Cup back in December, could block him from getting an offer from the Qatari national.’

Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has also issued an update on the takeover at Man Utd with neither interested party ready to pull out if the Red Devils fail to qualify for the Champions League.

Romano said on his YouTube channel: “But it’s also important to say that Sheikh Jassim’s idea, from what I understand, and is the same for INEOS group. But what is coming from Sheikh Jassim’s group is that they are prepared to insist to buy Manchester United in any case. It doesn’t depend on the Champions League football next season.

“So they want Manchester United they still feel confident but for this sale process it’s up to the Glazers, but they remain interested.”

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