Bidders including Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s Ineos and Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani have moved to the next stage of the process that could lead to a takeover of Manchester United, the PA news agency understands.
This part will involve access to data room information and give bidders an opportunity to conduct due diligence.
It is expected it could be a slow process as bidders pore over the details of the club’s commercial contracts.
Sheikh Jassim and Ineos both confirmed their offers to purchase United from the Glazer family last month and are the only bidders to have gone public.
Sources close to wealthy banker Sheikh Jassim insist he is bidding alone as a private individual, without any direct or indirect support from the Qatari state or the country’s sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority.
The Manchester United Supporters’ Trust has expressed concerns around multi-club ownership – Qatar Sports Investments controls Paris St Germain – and around human rights.
Sheikh Jassim has indicated his bid would leave the Old Trafford club debt free.
Ratcliffe, a self-proclaimed United fan, is one of the UK’s wealthiest people with an estimated net worth of £12.5billion following the success of his global chemical company.
A statement from Ineos last month read: “We would see our role as the long-term custodians of Manchester United on behalf of the fans and the wider community.
“We are ambitious and highly competitive and would want to invest in Manchester United to make them the number one club in the world once again.”