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Qatar’s Sheikh Jassim withdraws bid to buy Manchester United- reports

Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani has withdrawn a bid to buy Manchester United, the BBC reported on Saturday.

United announced nearly a year ago that the board was exploring “strategic alternatives to enhance the club’s growth”, with a full sale one of the options.

Sheikh Jassim and British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe were the front runners after several rounds of bidding earlier this year, but the process has stalled in recent months despite the anger of supporters towards current owners, the Glazer family.

The Americans have owned the English giants since a leveraged takeover in 2005 for £790 million ($961 million) saddled the club with huge debts.

Figures in March showed United’s debts have grown to £970 million.

However, the Glazers are believed to be holding out for a world record fee for a football club in excess of £6 billion.

Sheikh Jassim’s bid was for full control of United and promised to clear the club’s debt.

By contrast, Ratcliffe is reportedly willing to buy a smaller stake to break the impasse ownership of the 20-time English champions.

The Red Devils fortunes on the field have also faded under the Glazer’s tenure.

United have not won the Premier League since former manager Alex Ferguson retired in 2013 and last won the Champions League in 2008.

They currently sit 10th in the Premier League and have lost their first two Champions League group stage matches for the first time in the club’s history.

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