BREAKING – Manchester United have ALREADY opened talks with Qatari investors looking to buy the club

Discussions between Manchester United and the Qataris have already taken place as a group of investors from the oil-rich state launch their bid for the club.

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Sportsmail revealed on Wednesday that a private wealth fund want to buy the Premier League giants. The deadline for bids, set by US merchant bankers Raine, is a week on Friday. However, that date is being viewed as a soft cut-off, with the door left ajar for rival bidders.

The Glazer family will probably struggle to attract their desired £6billion bid for United, according to those within the process. They believe between £4.1bn and £4.5bn is more realistic.

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Aside from buying United, the successful bidder could face a bill of more than £2bn to redevelop or rebuild Old Trafford, which desperately needs modernising.

Should the Americans not receive an acceptable offer to sell the club outright, they are open to investment in exchange for a minority stake.

United announced they were open to a sale or investment in November. Following the World Cup hosted by Qatar, the group of investors became interested in United.

Last month, belief grew that they should have a stake in a club they see as the biggest in the world.

Talks between the prospective buyers and United’s hierarchy followed. The Qataris are also confident there will be no issues presented by Qatar Sports Investments’ (QSI) ownership of Paris Saint-Germain.

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UEFA rules forbid two clubs with the same owners from participating in the same competition — and PSG could face United in Europe. This is an area being examined by experts acting on behalf of those involved and there is a belief that it will not be a problem.

The group are described as ‘entirely separate’ from QSI, and the money would be from an individual fund rather than a sovereign wealth fund.

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It can also be disclosed that the group, who are confident theirs will be the strongest bid, are making plans for what happens should they be successful.

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The aim is to make a substantial investment which would allow Erik ten Hag, who has led a resurgence at Old Trafford since his appointment last year, to strengthen his squad further.

Attention would be paid not only to redeveloping Old Trafford, but also the vast swathes of land surrounding the stadium that are owned by the club.

Following Sportsmail’s story on Wednesday, United’s share price on the New York Stock Exchange surged, with a 14 per cent hike taking the price from $21 to around $24.