Man Utd takeover as Qatar ‘puts more cash’ on table after Ronaldo plea

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag reviews the Aston Villa game

Manchester United prospective buyer Sheikh Jassim of Qatar has reportedly made a further pledge of £800million following Cristiano Ronaldo’s complaints last year. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner sensationally forced the Red Devils to terminate his contract prior to the World Cup, but not before criticising the lack of investment by the Glazers on his way out of Old Trafford.

Ronaldo lambasted the Glazers for not investing further in the infrastructure around the club, a complaint echoed by many supporters who have urged the current owners to spend more during their time at Old Trafford.

“Nothing changed since I left,” Ronaldo told Piers Morgan. “The pool, the jacuzzi, even the gym, even some technology. Even the chefs who I appreciate, lovely people”. I thought I would see new technology, infrastructure. I saw things I saw when I was 20!

“The progress was zero. Since Sir Alex [Ferguson] left, I saw no evolution in the club. Nothing had changed. I think the fans should know the truth. I want the best for the club. This is why I come to Manchester United. But you have some things inside that don’t help reach the top level as [Manchester] City, Liverpool and even now Arsenal… a club with this dimension should be top of the tree in my opinion and they are not, unfortunately.”

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Now, City AM have claimed that in addition to the Qatari-backed £5billion offer at the third round of bidding, Jassim has now pledged a further £800m that would focus on improving the club’s infrastructure, training facilities and Old Trafford.

Whether Jassim will be chosen as the preferred bidder remains to be seen, as he is battling Sir Jim Ratcliffe who was reported to have lodged a higher bid than Jassim while offering some members of the Glazer family the opportunity to remain at the club as shareholders.

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The chair of Qatar Islamic Bank’s pledge of additional investment draws parallels with Todd Boehly’s winning bid for Chelsea last year, which included a promise to inject a further £1.75bn into the club, on top of the £2.5bn purchase price and was also handled by the Raine Group.

Protests by supporters were held again in the 1-0 win over Aston Villa on Sunday as the Glazers mull over offers to sell the club, which could still also include just minority investment.

Ronaldo warned supporters that it could be some time until the club are on top once again, though they will hope that pledged investment from Qatar will help speed up the process. “The fans are always right, the fans should know the truth,” he added.

“They should know that we, the players, want the best for the club. I want the best for the club, this is why I came to Manchester United, I love this club. It’s hard. In my opinion it will be hard for Manchester United to be at the top of the game in the next two-three years.”

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