Manchester United sale: Qatari sheikh, Jim Ratcliffe launch bids to buy club

What happens next in the Manchester United sale? (1:47)

Rob Dawson updates with the next steps in the sale of Manchester United, after Britain's richest man registers his interest. (1:47)

Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani, the chairman of Qatar Islamic Bank, has launched a bid to buy Manchester United, he confirmed in a statement Friday.

Qatar Islamic Bank's assets are estimated at more than £40 billion ($48bn) and Al Thani is the son of former Qatar Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani.

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However, Al Thani -- who said he is a United fan -- bid below the club's valuation of £6bn set by owners the Glazer family, sources told ESPN.

"Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani today confirmed his submission of a bid for 100% of Manchester United Football Club," Al Thani's statement read.

"The bid plans to return the club to its former glories both on and off the pitch, and -- above all -- will seek to place the fans at the heart of Manchester United Football club once more.

"The bid will be completely debt free via Sheikh Jassim's Nine Two Foundation, which will look to invest in the football teams, the training centre, the stadium and wider infrastructure, the fan experience and the communities the club supports.

"The vision of the bid is for Manchester United Football Club to be renowned for footballing excellence, and regarded as the greatest football club in the world.

"More details of the bid will be released, when appropriate, if and when the bid process develops."

Al Thani is the second person to confirm his intention to buy the Premier League club, after British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe, chairman and CEO of chemical company INEOS.

Ratcliffe also submitted his bid to buy United ahead of Friday's 10 p.m. UK (5 p.m. ET) soft deadline for offers, sources told ESPN. The deadline was set by Raine Group, the New York-based investment bank overseeing the process to either sell the club or attract substantial new investment.

It was confirmed on Saturday that United received a bid from Ratcliffe's company INEOS for "majority ownership" of the club, adding that it would look implement a fan-centred approach.

A boyhood United fan who made an offer to buy Chelsea last year, Ratcliffe purchased French Ligue 1 team Nice in 2019. He is ranked as Britain's richest person, with a reported worth of £9.8bn.

"We would see our role as the long-term custodians of Manchester United on behalf of the fans and the wider community," INEOS said in a statement.

"We are ambitious and highly competitive and would want to invest in Manchester United to make them the number one club in the world once again."

INEOS said it wants to make United a beacon for a "modern, progressive, fan-centred approach to ownership.

"We want a Manchester United anchored in its proud history and roots in the North-West of England, putting the Manchester back into Manchester United and clearly focusing on winning the Champions League," the statement added.

U.S. fund manager Elliott Management, with assets of more than $55bn, have also made a proposal to Raine.

However, the proposal made by Elliott -- the former owners of AC Milan -- is for possible financing of a bid and not a bid for the club, sources told ESPN.

The Glazers have owned United since 2005, when they completed a leveraged buyout, and have faced widespread supporter unrest over the past 18 years.

They revealed in November that they are looking at "strategic alternatives" including outside investment or a sale.

Information from Reuters was included in this report.