Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani and Sir Jim Ratcliffe have more time to submit their bids after frantic last-minute negotiations with Manchester United.
A term of 9pm on Wednesday came and went before the two leading candidates to buy the club confirmed they had been given more time to finalize their improved offers.
Telegraph Sport understands that the last minute chaos has caused some friction between the parties as the potential sale of the Glazers comes at a crucial time.
There is a disagreement between several sources close to the deal over who exactly asked for an extension first. Other minority offers were submitted in time in hopes that candidates will be dwindled over the next few days.
Ineos and the Qataris insist they are still determined to submit their offers possibly as early as Thursday. Dealmakers vehemently denied suggestions that the deadline had been pushed back to the 11th hour to flush out more potential interest.
Ahead of the late twist, Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim both appeared poised to submit their upgraded bids on Wednesday night – each believed to be worth more than £5bn, which would be a world record price for a sports team.
However, discussions with brokers about the flexibility of the deadline appear to have taken place behind the scenes for at least 24 hours.
Both bidders would have confirmed that they will still make revised bids. Sources nearby the Qatari bid said they were still committed to bidding. People familiar with Ratcliffe’s proposal said Wednesday evening that their offer would be “very soon”.
Ratcliffe’s Ineos Group and Sheikh Jassim believe they are the only serious contenders for an outright purchase, despite meeting up to eight groups.
The last-minute postponement will also heighten fears among United fans that the Glazers could choose to keep the club after all. A deal worth more than £5 billion would destroy the current record purchase of a sports team following the sale of the Denver Broncos American football franchise for £3.8 billion last year.
But the Glazers were looking for a whopping £6bn to sell, and it remains to be seen whether any of the upcoming bids will be enough to convince the Americans to end their controversial 18-year reign.
Four Glazers siblings, Kevin, Edward, Bryan and Darcie, are believed to be eager to sell for the right price, but Joel and Avram, the United co-chairs most invested in the club, say they are more resist and be open to the idea of a partial sale or minority investment.