Manchester United takeover: Qatar and Sir Jim Ratcliffe bids ask for extension to deadline

Neither of the two leading bids for , fronted by the Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani and Sir , submitted their improved offers for the club by Wednesday’s deadline, The Independent understands.

Both parties had until 9pm to submit their offers but have instead asked for an extension to the deadline.

It is understood both groups will submit their second, improved bids on Thursday, with the offers for the club expected to be more that £5bn in what is a crucial stage of the takeover process.

Ratcliffe’s INEOS group and the bid front by Sheikh Jassim were expected to submit their offers in advance of the 9pm deadline, but in a dramatic twist it emerged the Raine group received neither offer.

An extension to the process has been granted, however.

Both parties - which are the only groups to publicly declare their interest - visited Manchester United for meetings last week.

Bids will be handled by the Raine group, but it is understood the Glazer family are split over whether they want to sell the club or retain minority ownership.