The Glazer family are planning to delve deeper into offers for Manchester United as they invite the leading bid contenders for negotiations in the coming days, The Telegraph reports.
Fears the controversial owners may now be planning to retain overall control have been raised by well-connected figures in European football. However, sources within United insist the Glazers remain open-minded and will continue pursuing all available options.
One major factor is likely to be to establish the absolute top price that Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani and Sir Jim Ratcliffe are willing to pay for an outright sale. Offers of £5 billion are believed to have been tabled already for a deal which would obliterate the record purchase of a sports team following the sale of the Denver Broncos American football franchise for £3.8 billion last year. But the Glazers have been looking for as much as £6 billion to sell, and it remains to be seen if any of the bids will be sufficient to persuade the Americans to end their 18-year reign.
Four of the Glazer siblings – Kevin, Edward, Bryan and Darcie – are believed to be eager to sell at the right price but Joel and Avram, the United co-chairmen who have been the most invested of the siblings in the club, are said to be more resistant and have remained open to the idea of a partial sale or minority investment.