Sheikh Jassim’s representatives hold positive Manchester United takeover talks

Takeover talks are being held this week (Martin Rickett/PA) (PA Wire)
Takeover talks are being held this week (Martin Rickett/PA) (PA Wire)

Prospective Manchester United owner Sheikh Jassim’s representatives held positive, constructive talks during their visit to the club on Thursday, the PA news agency understands.

It was announced in November that the Old Trafford giants’ owners, the Glazer family, were conducting a strategic review and a sale was one option being considered.

Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani and INEOS founder Sir Jim Ratcliffe have bid to buy United, with both parties visiting the club this week.

Sheikh Jassim did not travel to Manchester on Thursday but sent a strong delegation, with a visit to Old Trafford followed by presentations and conversations at Carrington.

It is understood Shahzad Shahbaz, president of Sheikh Jassim’s Nine Two Foundation, was in attendance along with the Qatari banker’s personal advisor Fady Bakhos.

Sam Powers and Yasir Shah from Bank of America were part of the delegation, along with lawyers from Macfarlanes and retail estate experts.

Friday sees another day of presentations and tours at United, with INEOS founder Ratcliffe due to fly in from Nice.

INEOS co-owners Andy Currie and John Reece are due to join him in Manchester, along with INEOS Sport chair Rob Nevin and chief executive Jean Claude Blanc.

Sir Dave Brailsford, the former British Cycling chief, will also be in attendance on Friday in his role as director of sport at INEOS Sport, but such figures are not believed to represent a management team in-waiting.

United will be holding a press conference to preview their FA Cup quarter-final against Fulham at the Carrington training complex on Friday lunchtime whilst the INEOS visit is taking place.

Sheikh Jassim and Ratcliffe are the only interested parties to publicly announce their bids to American merchant bankers Raine, which was brought in to assist the club in assessing offers.