Bidders for Manchester United – including the Qatari group – have been called to meetings at Old Trafford over the next fortnight.
sports mail expects a series of summits to take place between those now in the second phase of the process, merchant bankers Raine, who are overseeing the negotiations, and United top executives.
Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani, who wants total control of the club, has been asked to travel to Manchester alongside Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the British billionaire who wants a majority stake.
It is believed that a third, as yet unnamed, group was also invited to participate.
Despite the development, which comes a fortnight after the bids were made, there is growing frustration among some stakeholders at the continued lack of access to United’s full financial picture.
Bidders for Manchester United were invited to meetings at Old Trafford over the next fortnight
Britain’s richest man Sir Jim Ratcliffe hopes to take the club “back to world number one”.
In the first phase, those who expressed interest were granted access to a data room in return for signing confidentiality agreements.
However, the information collected there should not be sufficient to get a comprehensive picture of the club’s accounts.
An independent assessment of Old Trafford and how much it would cost to refurbish or rebuild United’s iconic home is required, along with a similar report on the club’s Carrington training ground, which is in need of modernisation. Estimates for a refurbishment of Old Trafford range from £1 billion to £2 billion
A number of United’s senior figures, including Chief Financial Officer Cliff Baty and Chief Executive Richard Arnold, are believed to be present at the meetings, along with officials from New York’s Raine.
The Glazer family is set to sell the Red Devils in the biggest deal in history
Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad bin Jaber Al Thani intends to fund his bid to buy United without debt
Estimates for a refurbishment of Old Trafford are currently between £1 billion and £2 billion
It’s not yet known if members of the Glazer family, who own United, will attend.
The initial bids are not believed to have matched the Glazers’ valuation of the club, which is reportedly around £6bn, although this was not expected.
Raine prompted offers for control of the club and for investment in exchange for a partial stake. Sportsmail announced that Qatar would submit an offer.
Sheikh Jassim, a longtime United supporter, later said he would pay off the club’s debts and aim to restore it to its former glory.