Qatar’s Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani has won the race to buy Manchester United, according to a report on a Qatari news site.
Sheikh Jassim had been locked in a bidding war with British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe for control of ownership of the Premier League giants.
The chairman of Qatar Islamic Bank last week submitted a fifth and final offer to buy the 20-time English champions and, according to Al-Watan newspaper, has been chosen by United’s current owners the Glazers as their preferred bid.
Al-Watan posted on Twitter on Monday night that Sheikh Jassim’s takeover bid has been a “success” and that an official announcement was imminent.
While details have not been disclosed, UK media reports say Sheikh Jassim’s final bid submitted on June 7 was £5 billion for total control of United.
The offer includes clearing a £1 billion debt and a fund solely for the club and surrounding community, according to an earlier report in The Guardian newspaper.
Ratcliffe, the chief of Ineos group and a boyhood United fan, had wanted to purchase around 60 percent of the club. His offer comes with a proposal that would allow the Glazers to remain for a set time period ahead of a sourced buyout.
The Glazer family originally valued the club at £6 billion after it went on the market.
Al-Watan’s report that a decision by the Glazers will be announced soon will bring to a close one of the most protracted takeovers of a football club in recent times.