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Preferred bidder in Manchester United takeover race could be named on Friday

There would be fierce opposition from at least 17 clubs if Qatar is named the preferred bidder in the race for Manchester United, reports the Independent.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani are both in the running to purchase the Old Trafford club.

Both are hopeful there will be an announcement naming a preferred bidder on Friday.

While the process of completing the takeover could yet go on for months, clarity is expected before the season ends.

Ratcliffe believes he is the favourite to win the race due to the nature of his bid.

The British billionaire’s offer has Man United priced at a higher value than Sheikh Jassim’s.

He also reckons his bid will not be subjected to a lengthy Owners’ and Directors’ test.

The Qatar bid could face some complications regarding state ownership, but Ratcliffe has no such concerns.

However, Sheikh Jassim is not anticipating any problems with his bid and has always maintained it is a private one.

Other Premier League clubs believe Qatar is backing his bid to buy Man United.

They are frowning at state ownership, with Manchester City and Newcastle United having access to unlimited funds.

The Qataris taking over Man United could see the other 17 clubs struggle to challenge for silverware and the top-four.

There are no guarantees that Sheikh Jassim will win the bidding war, but he is confident.

He believes his offer can be negotiated more quickly as it is an outright buy-out and is for all of the Glazers’ shares.