Manchester United have said that they are exploring options, including a sale, but the £6bn figure wanted by the Glazer family means only a select few could afford a dealVideo LoadingVideo UnavailableGlazer family considering sale as Cristiano Ronaldo leaves Manchester United Manchester United are up for sale. It took a while to get to the nub of it in the 333-word statement released by the Glazer family on Tuesday night, but by the end it was abundantly clear that, through the same American bank that handled the Chelsea deal earlier this year, a deal will be agreed once a sufficiently big bid lands at their door. The Glazers have already set their stall out, demanding at least £6bn to sanction a deal. And that enormous sum places a huge limitation on the number of candidates who can afford to take over. Here’s a look at five candidates who could be in contention to meet the Glazers’ eye-watering price tag and become the new owners of the Old Trafford club. Sir Jim Ratcliffe Britain’s richest man, head of the petrochemical firm INEOS, has expressed an interest in taking over on more than one occasion, though his last-minute bid for Chelsea raised eyebrows across the industry. Last month Ratcliffe said “I’m a lifelong Manchester United fan. I have met Joel and Avram. They are the nicest people, I have to say, proper gentlemen.” But at the same time he has said investing in the Premier League is too costly and INEOS’ focus would remain on growing Ligue 1 side Nice. Apollo Global There were reports in August – vehemently denied at the time – that the American equity firm were in exclusive discussions about acquiring a minority stake in the club. But fans and former player Gary Neville were among those to push back – not least because of Apollo’s apparent links to Vladimir Putin ’s regime. Another consortium of US investors? The most likely new owners if a sale goes through. The Chelsea deal showed how easily groups of very rich American men can come together and it will be intriguing to see if either the shortlisted groups led by Stephen Pagliuca and David Blitzer register interest. An acquisition for either is complicated significantly by the need for them to divest stakes in other clubs. That put them at a disadvantage when it came to Chelsea because it was a time-sensitive transaction. The Glazers are not in as much of a rush. Joshua Harris and David Blitzer already have a significant stake in Crystal Palace. ( Image: Getty Images) Elon Musk A longshot considering the financial hit his recent purchase of Twitter has taken, Tesla’s value plummeting and a growing number of fires that need extinguishing. But he did joke in August that “Also, I’m buying Manchester United ur welcome” in a tweet during the will-he-won’t-he phase of the Twitter sale. State ownership? Abu Dhabi has Manchester City, Saudi Arabia own Newcastle United and the Qataris are at Paris Saint-Germain. So who is left? China has scaled back its investment in the sport since before the pandemic, while whispers about the Sultan of Brunei being interested come solely from him being interested in football. Read more Top Man Utd stories
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