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Manchester United Supporters Trust has called for a potential takeover of the club to be concluded “without further delay”.

The club announced in November that their owners, the Glazer family, were exploring “strategic alternatives” for the Old Trafford outfit, with a sale one of the options considered.

American bank the Raine Group, which facilitated the sale of Chelsea last summer, was brought in by United to oversee the process, with February 17 the soft deadline for expressions of interest.

A second deadline for those that progressed was set for March 22, only to be extended by a few days.

Now a third stage is understood to be under way as the process rumbles on towards the latter stages of the season.

Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST) believes the club are in “dire need of new investment” and wants clarity on the current takeover situation amid fears prolonging the process will harm summer transfer business and delay major projects, such as redeveloping Old Trafford.

“When it was announced in November that the Glazers were undertaking a “strategic review” and inviting offers to buy the club, MUST welcomed the news and went on to urge the majority owners to move ahead with the process with speed, so that any period of uncertainty was as short as possible,” read a statement.

“Nearly five months on, we read speculation that offers from prospective buyers remain below the Glazers’ valuation, and that a third round of offers will now be invited.

“With Erik ten Hag having made such great progress in his first season, and with the vital summer transfer window a matter of weeks away, the news of these delays and further prolonged uncertainty are of great concern.

“Erik needs to know what resources he has to spend so he can make the signings the club needs, and the whole management resources of the club need to be focused on supporting him in that. That cannot be the case with the future ownership so unclear.

“We are also unable to move forward on major investment projects – not least the stadium redevelopment as we remain in limbo.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, pictured, and a party acting for Sheikh Jassim visited Manchester recently to speak to the senior hierarchy
Sir Jim Ratcliffe, pictured, and a party acting for Sheikh Jassim visited Manchester recently to speak to the senior hierarchy (Peter Byrne/PA)

“We are in dire need of new investment, which undoubtedly requires new ownership. MUST, along with United fans all around the world, are calling for this process to be concluded without further delay.”

Sheikh Jassim, the chairman of Qatar Islamic Bank and the son of a former Qatari prime minister, was the first prospective owner to publicly confirm a bid for the 20-time champions of England.

INEOS owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe quickly followed, with both parties making trips to Manchester last month to visit the club and speak to the senior hierarchy.

Elliott Investment Management has reportedly made an offer and Finnish businessman Thomas Zilliacus also says he has made a bid.