Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani, the chairman of one of Qatar’s biggest banks, has confirmed his foundation will bid to buy Manchester United.
BBC Sport understands that Ineos, owned by Sir Jim Ratcliffe, also officially made a bid before Friday’s 22:00 GMT ‘soft deadline’ for proposals.
Billionaire Ratcliffe had already stated his interest in buying United.
The Glazer family, who bought United in 2005, are considering selling as they “explore strategic alternatives”.
Sheikh Jassim’s Qatari consortium said: “The bid plans to return the club to its former glories.
“The bid will be completely debt free via Sheikh Jassim’s Nine Two Foundation, which will look to invest in the football teams, the training centre, the stadium and wider infrastructure, the fan experience and the communities the club supports.
“The vision of the bid is for Manchester United to be renowned for footballing excellence, and regarded as the greatest football club in the world.”
Ineos has yet to release a statement, but it is understood the proposal will emphasise that Manchester-born Ratcliffe would be “a British custodian for the club” and would aim to “put the Manchester back into Manchester United”.
The Ineos group, owned by 70-year-old British billionaire Ratcliffe, has a history of investment in sport and owns French Ligue 1 club Nice and Swiss club Lausanne.
Its sporting portfolio also includes high-profile sailing team Ineos Britannia – led by Sir Ben Ainslie – which is aiming to win the 2024 America’s Cup for Great Britain.
Ineos also has a five-year partnership with Formula 1 team Mercedes and took over the British-based Team Sky in cycling in 2019.
Described as a life-long Manchester United fan, Sheikh Jassim is chairman of Qatari bank QIB and the son of a former prime minister of Qatar.
His consortium did not provide any details on the amount they proposed to purchase the club for.
There are also expected to be at least two offers for United from the United States, while there have been suggestions of interest from Saudi Arabia.
That means there could be up to five parties trying to negotiate a full sale, with others looking to make a smaller investment in return for a partial stake in the 20-time English league champions.
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