The Glazer family finally gave Manchester United fans the news they had been waiting for on Tuesday night when they announced they would be willing to sell the club.
The unpopular Americans bought United for £790million in 2005 but now want at least £5billion for the Premier League giants.
So, who could be the next owner at Old Trafford? Sportsmail takes a look at the runners and riders.
Joel (R) and Avram (L) Glazer revealed they were willing to sell Manchester United on Tuesday
Once Britain’s richest man, Ratcliffe is worth an estimated £11bn and is a United supporter.
He submitted a bid for Chelsea in the summer, where he dealt with the Raine Group, who are also facilitating the sale of United.
Jim Ratcliffe considered buying Manchester United this summer but has since exited the race
The founder of Ineos and owner of Ligue 1 club Nice has expressed interest in taking over at Old Trafford before.
As recently as October, he admitted: ‘If it had been for sale in the summer then, yes, we would have probably had a go following on from the Chelsea thing.’
However, in November, a spokesperson for Ratcliffe said: ‘We are now focusing our efforts in Nice and raising our ambitions for the club to make them into a top tier club in France to compete with PSG.
‘This would represent much better value for our investment than buying one of the top tier Premier League clubs.’
Those comments, though, were in relation to the sale of Liverpool. Now United are officially up for grabs, and given his connection to the club, it appears Ratcliffe is ready to throw his hat in the ring once more.
INVESTMENT CORPORATION OF DUBAI
The Glazers’ sky-high asking price is the sort only a sovereign wealth fund can afford.
United’s rivals Manchester City are already in with Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia led the takeover of Newcastle and Paris Saint-Germain are owned by the Qatari state.
But Dubai has so far stayed out of football ownership. Could that now be about to change?
The emirate government’s investment arm – Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD) – has been linked with both United and Liverpool in the past and will surely be monitoring developments.
Bahrain or Kuwait are other oil-rich states who may fancy a piece of the Premier League pie.
Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund bought Newcastle United for £300m in October 2021
The businessman infamously tried and failed to buy United for £20million back in 1989.
While the club’s asking price has increased significantly since then, Knighton claimed he was fronting a consortium who are interested in the Old Trafford outfit.
‘There is much going on behind the scenes,’ he tweeted in September. ‘Things are moving forward as planned.’
Michael Knighton infamously tried and failed to buy Manchester United for £20m back in 1989
APOLLO GLOBAL MANAGEMENT
The American private equity firm were in talks about acquiring a stake in United in the summer. Although nothing came of the talks at the time, could they now be revived?
If it is not Apollo, other American investment funds are certain to be interested, as was the case when Chelsea became available earlier this year.
The new owner of Twitter caused a stir in the summer when he posted: ‘Also, I’m buying Manchester United ur [sic] welcome.’
While Musk later admitted his tweet was a ‘long-running joke’, there is no doubt the world’s richest man has the money to make an offer.
There is no second guessing Musk’s next move. Could he fancy a football club as his next play thing to go with his social media site?
Twitter owner Elon Musk caused a stir when he joked he was buying Man United this summer
The UFC star claimed earlier this month that he was interested in buying Liverpool.
‘I WOULD LOVE IT!’ he replied to a fan on Twitter. ‘I requested my information on this, yes. Soon as I heard. What a turn of events! What a club! @LFC.’
However, McGregor is a United fan and tweeted in April 2021: ‘Hey guys, I’m thinking about buying Manchester United! What do you think?’
McGregor’s worth, though, is in the millions not the billions, and his best hope would be to front a consortium. Of course, there are likely to be far more serious bidders.
Conor McGregor would likely have to front a consortium if he wanted to by Manchester United
The MMA star admitted he would ‘love’ to buy Liverpool – and could be tempted by Man United