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EPL

Jim Ratcliffe THREATENED to pull plug on Utd if Christmas Day deadline wasn’t met

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Sir Jim Ratcliffe had threatened to withdraw his £1.03 billion offer for Manchester United if the Glazers did not accept it by Christmas Day.

However, it appears that the Glazers could have the ability to force Ratcliffe to sell his 25% stake in the club in just 18 months.

Ratcliffe’s announcement on December 24th took many by surprise, but recent paperwork filed with the New York Stock Exchange has revealed that the Ineos billionaire was prepared to walk away if a deal was not reached.

Despite this, United announced a loss of £25.8 million for the quarter ending on September 30th, although they also posted record revenues of £157 million for the same period.

The negotiations between Ratcliffe’s company Trawlers Limited and the Glazer family have been ongoing since February of the previous year, with progress finally being made in discussions held between December 18th and 22nd.

The Glazer family had indicated their willingness to entertain offers for the club in November 2022, leading to 26 non-disclosure agreements being signed, with 19 parties invited to submit bids.

Sheikh Jassim appeared to be a frontrunner at one point but withdrew from the process in mid-October.

United’s recent financial figures also revealed that the club’s wage bill has increased by 9.7% to £90.3 million following the signing of seven new players in the summer transfer window.

Additionally, the return to the Champions League this season has likely led to an increase in player salaries due to clauses in their contracts.

Manager Erik ten Hag has sanctioned nearly £180 million worth of new signings, including Mason Mount, Rasmus Hojlund, and Andre Onana.

To offset these expenses and comply with the Premier League’s Financial Fair Play guidelines, the club has received around £30 million from the sales of Anthony Elanga, Fred, and Dean Henderson.

However, United’s financial forecast for 2024 has been revised downwards following their disappointing early exit from European football.

As a result of finishing bottom of their Champions League group, the club has missed out on additional midweek matches and prize money, which could cost them between £30 and £45 million.

EPL

Palmer overtakes three-season Havertz stat at Chelsea

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Palmer overtakes three-season Havertz stat at Chelsea

Cole Palmer’s remarkable four-goal performance against Everton on Monday evening has propelled him to the top of the Premier League golden boot race.

With 20 goals to his name this season, he is now neck and neck with Erling Haaland in the race for the prestigious award.

His scoring spree also highlights his incredible impact at Chelsea, as he has now scored more league goals in his first seven months at the club than Kai Havertz managed in three seasons, tallying 19 goals.

Palmer’s outstanding form has been instrumental in Chelsea’s climb up the Premier League table, bringing them within just three points of sixth place.

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Champions League

‘He’s had 48 hours’ – Arsenal boss shares update on Bukayo Saka after furious penalty demand

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'He's had 48 hours' - Arsenal boss shares update on Bukayo Saka after furious penalty demand

Bukayo Saka expressed frustration at not being awarded a penalty after a clash with Manuel Neuer during Arsenal’s 2-2 draw with Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals.

He confronted the referee at full-time and even followed him down the tunnel, a departure from Saka’s typically composed demeanor.

When questioned about Saka’s condition before the upcoming match against Aston Villa on Sunday, Mikel Arteta stated, “Yes, he looked fine this morning.”

“He’s had 48 hours to think about it and it’s done.”

Arteta chose not to address the incident after the game, but there was a general consensus that Saka’s contact with Neuer was minimal.

Saka faced criticism for his reaction, but given the high emotions of the game, such reactions were not uncommon.

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Champions League

Real Madrid 3-3 Man City: Valverde caps off evening of stunning goals in Champions League thriller (Video)

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Real Madrid 3-3 Man City: Valverde caps off evening of stunning goals in Champions League thriller

Manchester City and Real Madrid played out an enthralling 3-3 draw in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final, setting up an intriguing second leg at the Etihad Stadium.

City took an early lead through Bernardo Silva’s cleverly taken free-kick, but Madrid equalized twice with deflected strikes from Eduardo Camavinga and Rodrygo, which took slight touches off Ruben Dias and Manuel Akanji respectively.

Phil Foden restored City’s lead with a superb strike from outside the box, before Josko Gvardiol scored his first goal for the club with a fine right-footed shot to make it 3-2.

However, Madrid fought back once again, with Federico Valverde’s stunning volley ensuring the tie ended level.

The result leaves the quarter-final finely balanced ahead of the second leg, with City looking to replicate their 4-0 victory over Madrid in last season’s semi-finals at the Etihad Stadium.

There was a late injury concern for City as Foden hobbled off following a late tackle on his ankle, but the extent of the injury is yet to be determined.

Real Madrid vs Man City

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