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D-DAY for Manchester United: Glazers are expecting to receive world record bids of more than £5BILLION ahead of tonight’s 9pm deadline, with the Old Trafford club hoping for a sale before the summer transfer window opens

Second bids for Manchester United have to be lodged by 9pm on Wednesday night — with the club set to be sold for a world-record fee should the Glazers accept one of the offers. 

Those who want to buy the club outright, or make a partial investment, were on Tuesday night finalising their bids ahead of a significant day.

The Qatar-based Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani bid, revealed by Sportsmail, is still the favourite, although a rival offer from Sir Jim Ratcliffe is gathering momentum.

Ratcliffe, the British billionaire owner of INEOS, who claims to be a lifelong United fan, could link up with one of a number of other interested parties in a strengthened offer, according to those familiar with the situation.

Initial offers sent in last month were thought to have been worth around £4.5billion, with second bids likely to top £5bn. That would surpass the record for a sports franchise sale — the £3.71bn paid for the NFL’s Denver Broncos last year.

The deadline for the second round of bids is on Wednesday, and the club is expecting six offers

The deadline for the second round of bids is on Wednesday, and the club is expecting six offers

Man United have been put up for sale by their American owners, the Glazer family, who will receive a world-record fee of more than £5billion if they accept one of the offers for the club

Man United have been put up for sale by their American owners, the Glazer family, who will receive a world-record fee of more than £5billion if they accept one of the offers for the club

Six bids in total are expected, a mix of offers for full control and smaller stakes in United.

All options — a sale, investment and total rejection of all offers — remain on the table. Should the Glazers’ valuation of United not be met, they will not sell.

That valuation has not been made public and those in the bidding process have not been told what it is. However, it is believed a figure of around £6bn would be enough.

Sportsmail understands that those who submit offers will hear back in around a week’s time. At that stage, another round of bidding could be organised.

Less likely is the prospect that one group are chosen to enter into a period of exclusivity, which would see further negotiation ahead of a final sale.

Both INEOS and the Qatar-based bid are adamant they will not pay over the odds. Easter is viewed as potential decision time but the aim, should the club be sold, is to have new owners in place ahead of the summer transfer window.

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Last week, a delegation from Sheikh Jassim’s bid visited Old Trafford and Carrington for tours, presentations and the opportunity to ask questions. Talks went on for more than 10 hours and were described as cordial and positive.

Although the visit of Ratcliffe and his group was around three hours shorter, they made a good impression on those involved in the process, which is being run by US bank Raine Group.

Sheikh Jassim’s bid is for all of United’s shares and he has promised to clear the club’s debt. Ratcliffe is seeking to buy the 69 per cent stake owned by the Glazer family. That could change should he join up with a number of groups who are also in the hunt. 

Supporters have long protested against the Glazers during their club's matches over the years

Supporters have long protested against the Glazers during their club’s matches over the years

Avram Glazer (centre) was present for United's Carabao Cup final win at Wembley last month

Avram Glazer (centre) was present for United’s Carabao Cup final win at Wembley last month

It is understood that new expressions of interest continue to be made, with the deadline described as ‘soft’.

Around eight groups in total were given tours of the stadium and training ground, with the Jimmy Murphy Centre — usually used for media duties and press conferences — turned into a sales room for a two-week period.

US firm Elliott Investment Management, who have offered funding, were among the eight groups, along with others from the same country.

The Broncos were bought by a group fronted by Rob Walton, from the family who own Walmart, last June. The $4.65bn paid at the time was equivalent to £3.71bn.

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