Neither of the two top bidders was able to submit their offer before the 21:00GMT deadline.

The two top bidders for the Manchester United takeover Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani and Sir Jim Ratcliffe have both been granted an extension after failing to meet the set deadline. The pair were supposed to table renewed offers before 21:00 GMT on Wednesday but failed to do so in what appears to be a significant twist to proceedings.

Wednesday, March 22, was touted as the D-Day in the race to buy Manchester United. After the camps of both Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani and British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe sent a delegation to Old Trafford to hold in-depth discussions with United officials last week, improved bids were expected to follow suit.

Ahead of the 9PM UK deadline set, multiple reports indicated that the Qatari delegation had sent in their bid - a purported world record fee to acquire the club - while Sir Jim Ratcliffe's entourage had also done same. The latter's offer is said to be short of what has been proposed by the Qataris, albeit undisclosed.

However, the claims have now been quashed by Sky Sports who insist that both camps could not meet the deadline set by the Raine Group who are acting on behalf of current owners. As a result, they have been handed extensions to enable them put through their bids.