Man Utd takeover: Romano reveals ‘nervous’ sale update as ‘bugs’ in dressing room multiply

Man Utd bidder Sir Jim Ratcliffe Credit: Alamy
Man Utd bidder Sir Jim Ratcliffe Credit: Alamy

All parties involved in a potential sale of Manchester United are getting “nervous” with “things happening”, according to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano.

Over nine months ago the club Glazers announced a full sale was being considered as part of an overall strategic review of the Old Trafford club.

Qatar’s Sheikh Jassim and INEOS owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe both made their interest in the club known and have both put in bids for control of Man Utd.

However, the process is rumbling on with little indication of whether the Glazers will accept bids from either Sheikh Jassim or Ratcliffe, although there have been rumours that they prefer the former’s offer.

There was even a report in the Daily Mail earlier this month which claimed that the Man Utd owners are taking the Premier League club off the market and will attempt to sell again in 2025.

But there have been mixed reports about whether that is actually true and now Romano insists “things are happening” but that “there is nothing imminent”.

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Romano wrote in his Caught Offside column: “The Manchester United takeover saga continues to drag on, and all I’m hearing at the moment is that the parties involved don’t want to talk too much about what’s going on.

“It’s a bit surprising because things seemed pretty advanced back in March, with the expectation being that it could be done by the summer, before the transfer window, but we’re at the same point.

“The feeling now seems to be that the parties involved are nervous – we had a lot of briefings earlier in the year but now they’re not commenting.

“At the moment there is nothing imminent, nothing confirmed, but the feeling of sources is that things are still happening behind the scenes of this story, so let’s see. For now things are being kept quiet and secret, but again the feeling is that things are happening.

“Maybe if they had been a takeover completed earlier, they would have had the chance to go for superstar players, with the likes of Harry Kane and Victor Osimhen being linked earlier in the year.

“In the end it was not possible because of United’s financial situation, so that was an issue because before the summer there were links with those kinds of players.

“Then the reality is United had to go for different players, with a different strategy because of their financial situation and Financial Fair Play. I don’t have any news about players rejecting United because of the situation with the takeover.

“But in the end Manchester United were very happy with the transfer window they had. They signed the players they wanted. They believe in the potential of a young talent like Rasmus Hojlund – he’s a young guy so it will take time, but he’s an incredible talent and they believe he’s a very serious, professional guy. They believe he is the perfect player for Erik ten Hag and that he’ll be a very good player.”

Gary Neville has previously spoke about the club’s ownership having a negative impact on every aspect of the club with the Glazers breeding a culture of “greed, ill-discipline, indecision and uncertainty” at Man Utd.

And with the current ongoing issues with Jadon Sancho and Harry Maguire, Neville is worried that Ten Hag has now “got some bugs” in the Man Utd dressing room.

Neville said on TikTok: “How popular is Sancho in the dressing room? How popular is Maguire?

“Ten Hag has got some bugs in there that we don’t know from the outside what discomfort and uncertainty is being created on the inside.

“You’ve got a player who’s probably changing in the first-team dressing room but is over with the academy. You’ve got Harry, who was captain of these players 12 months ago but has now almost been alienated to the third, fourth, fifth centre-half.

“So Ten Hag has some situations in there and I don’t know the damage that is having.

“There has been many a manager since Sir Alex Ferguson left, good managers who have found challenges at United.

“I’m hoping it’s just a difficult start to the season and not a repeat of what we’ve seen previously — where it started to become challenging for Jose Mourinho, Louis van Gaal, David Moyes, Ralf Rangnick and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.”


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