Joel and Avram Glazer are increasingly confident of securing the outside investment that will enable them to remain as Manchester United owners and potentially double the value of the club over the next decade, a source has told ESPN.
The Glazer family, who have owned United since 2005, announced last November they were considering "all strategic alternatives, including new investment into the club, a sale, or other transactions," in order to generate the funds required to transform the team, training ground and the Old Trafford stadium, which has been overlooked as a potential venue for the joint United Kingdom and Ireland bid to host Euro 2028 despite being the biggest club ground in Britain.
While Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al Thani is fronting a Qatari bid to buy United in face of competition from Jim Ratcliffe, Britain's richest man, a number of United States-based investment funds have contacted Raine Group, the New York bank overseeing the process, to register their interest in acquiring a minority stake in the club.
Elliot Investment Management, Ares Management Corporation, Sixth Street Partners and The Carlyle Group are all attempting to secure a stake in United, having lodged their interest with Raine Group ahead of the April 28 deadline for third bids.
While United supporters, who have been opposed to the Glazers since their leveraged takeover 18 years ago, have made it clear through fans' groups that they want the Glazers to sell all of their shares in the club and clear the way for new owners, a source familiar with the situation has told ESPN that brothers Joel and Avram -- United's co-chairmen -- favour new investment that will enable them to remain in charge at Old Trafford, with siblings and fellow directors Kevin, Bryan and Edward Glazer and Darcie Glazer Kassewitz offloading their stakes in the club.
ESPN reported in February that potential buyers for United were sceptical of the Glazers' desire to sell completely and that Joel and Avram were keen to hold onto the club.
And despite the confirmed bids from Sheikh Jassim and Ratcliffe, via his INEOS group, the source told ESPN that Joel and Avram Glazer believe that the potential for organic growth over the years ahead could make United worth at least £10 billion ($12.4 bn).
With areas of growth anticipated in terms of broadcast revenue, streaming opportunities and a possible restructuring of the club game, there is a view within the United hierarchy that the club can become much more valuable with the required investment on and off the pitch.
And with at least four hugely wealthy investment funds prepared to acquire a stake that would see them become minority shareholders, Joel and Avram Glazer have the opportunity to remain as owners.