Man Utd defender Varane ready for tough challenge against Barcelona
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The countdown begins ahead of one of Erik ten Hag’s biggest games as Manchester United manager. Barcelona visit Old Trafford in the Europa League on Thursday night, with a spot in the competition’s last 16 at stake following a thrilling 2-2 stalemate at the Nou Camp.
However, in the background, the saga surrounding the club’s ownership rumbles on as bidders continue to await access to financial information, including contracts and sponsorship deals. Three US investment firms have also entered the frame, looking to fund a bid to complete a takeover.
Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani and Sir Jim Ratcliffe lodged informal bids before last Friday’s soft deadline. The ball is now in the Glazer family and the Raine Group’s court now they know the value of initial offers before formal bidding begins.
Most of the speculation surrounds Sheikh Jassim due to his unmatchable wealth, with Barcelona manager Xavi endorsing his potential takeover. And Kylian Mbappe reportedly may be on his early agenda at Old Trafford ahead of his Paris Saint-Germain contract expiry.
Follow LIVE updates below…
Qataris name project ‘symbol’
Qatari businessman Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani reportedly wants Alejandro Garnacho to be the ‘symbol’ of his Manchester United ownership.
On his YouTube, Fabrizio Romano revealed the teenage winger was already well-regarded by Qatari figures.
He said: “He’s one of the players that, according to what I understand, is really appreciated by this Qatari group.
“They are convinced that players like Garnacho, very young with a winning mentality and already with a history in the Manchester United academy, they can be the example, the model, the role model for many other talents.
“So this is what they want to develop, and players like Garnacho can be kind of symbol for [the] Manchester United project.”
Sheikh Jassim admission
Barcelona manager Xavi has admitted that Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani would make a worthy owner of Manchester United.
Sheikh Jassim is a frontrunner to buy the club from the Glazers.
Xavi knows him from his stint in Qatar at the end of his playing career and the start of his coaching journey.
Ahead of Barca’s match at Old Trafford on Thursday, Xai praised the Sheikh.
He said: “I have a good relationship with the Sheikh. He is a serious, responsible person, and I think he would do a good job.
“I know him well. He’s a very good person, and I think he would be a very good option for United. I worked in Qatar for six years.”
Mbappe transfer eyed
Qatari businessman Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani’s attempted takeover of Manchester United has reportedly set off alarm bells at Paris Saint-Germain.
According to L’Equipe, PSG superstar Kylian Mbappe has suddenly become a primary target of United’s potential new owners.
It could lead to Qatar’s main resources shifting their attention to Old Trafford if their poster boy switches allegiances.
Mbappe is out of contract at the Parc des Princes in 2024, but Real Madrid but be considered favourites for his signature.
A huge day awaits Manchester United as Barcelona visit Old Trafford for their Europa League decider.
But off the pitch, the club’s takeover process is ongoing…
Stay tuned for regular updates throughout your Thursday.
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