Man Utd takeover: Neville will be ‘offered key role’ under new owner as ‘preferred bidder’ is touted

·3-min read
Man Utd takeover Credit: Alamy
Man Utd takeover Credit: Alamy

Gary Neville and Paul Scholes will reportedly be ‘offered the chance to return to Old Trafford’ if Sheikh Jassim becomes the new owner of Man Utd.

The Premier League giants have been up for sale since November and there have been three rounds of bidding since then.

Sheikh Jassim is among those in the running to buy Man Utd from the Glazer family. It is understood that the Qatari businessman is only interested in gaining full control of the football club.

INEOS’ Sir Jim Ratcliffe also intends to gain control of United, but he is willing to keep the Glazer family on board with a 20% stake.

His main rival is Sheikh Jassim, who has grand plans for UnitedESPN now reporting that the ‘greatest players from Sir Alex Ferguson’s most successful teams will be offered the chance to return to Old Trafford in prominent roles’ if he ousts the Glazer family. The report adds.

‘Such a move would open the door for high-profile players from United’s 1999 Treble winners, including the “Class of 92” group of home-grown stars such as Gary Neville and Paul Scholes, and leading figures from the club’s most recent Champions League-winning team of 2008, to represent the club at various levels.

‘Sources have told ESPN that the absence of the club’s most renowned players within the United hierarchy is an issue that Sheikh Jassim is determined to address to ensure that the club takes advantage of the profile and experience of former greats in a similar manner to clubs such as Liverpool, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and AC Milan, who all employ some of the team’s most iconic players in senior roles.

‘Sources have said that a number of players from the team that won the treble and 2008 Champions League winners have already been approached by representatives of Sheikh Jassim to discuss the proposal.’

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Earlier this week, Sheikh Jassim was touted as the most likely ‘preferred bidder’, but this has been played down by journalist Simon Stone.

He is reporting that ‘nothing has changed’ as the Glazer family are ‘still to decide how to proceed’.

‘It is a measure of the uncertainty around Manchester United’s ownership situation that the club’s share price rose yesterday amid reports of rumours around Sheikh Jassim being chosen as the preferred bidder,’ Stone wrote for BBC Sport.

‘The rumours are inaccurate in the sense nothing has changed. The Glazer family are still to decide how to proceed having had three lots of bidding around their search for ‘strategic alternatives’ for running the club.

‘Most observers feel it would be better if a decision was made sooner rather than later to give clarity over the transfer window and how much Erik ten Hag will have to spend.

‘Clearly United are still to secure Champions League qualification but I am assured neither Sheikh Jassim nor Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s Ineos group, the two bidders to buy the club, will be put off if Ten Hag’s side fails to secure a top four finish.’

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