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Manchester United bidders to meet officials within weeks to review club accounts

Manchester United bidders are due to meet with the club in the next two weeks and gain access to accounts - enabling offers to end the ownership of the Glazers.

Sky News understands the two declared bids are now progressing two weeks after the deadline to declare interest - from Qatari hopeful Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al Thani and British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe's INEOS.

The process is being overseen by the New York-based Raine Group merchant bank, which has not commented on the process launched by the Glazers publicly in November when they announced they were open to a sale of the club they have owned since 2005.

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It is unknown if there are more than two bids to take control of the club, while other lesser investment offers have been floated.

It has been suggested it could take bids valuing the club at more than £5bn for the Glazers to sell up completely.

Sheikh Jassim, who was educated at the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst, is chairman of Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) which was established in 1982 - the year of his birth.

A buyout of United would be funded through his wealth via a new entity the Nine Two Foundation.

QIB's largest shareholder is the Qatar Investment Authority which is the state's sovereign wealth fund.

However, the bid team maintains the club is a private investment by Sheikh Jassim, whose father, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al Thani, is a former prime minister of Qatar.

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More is known about Sir Jim who says he is a lifelong United fan having been born in Manchester.

Through petrochemicals giant INEOS, he also owns French football club Nice and Swiss side Lausanne-Sport.

The Glazers are yet to comment about the sale progress since initial offers were lodged.

Co-owner Avram Glazer was at Wembley last weekend to see United win the League Cup and end a six-year trophy drought.