Manchester United's stuttering start to the season has done little to bridge the gap between the Glazers’ asking price and what is being offered for the club, Mail Sport understands.
An underwhelming return of just six points from five games has left Erik ten Hag’s side in 13th place in the Premier League and has impacted negatively on the perception that the fallen giants were finally set to challenge under the Dutchman after last year’s apparent revival.
Talks and negotiations remain ongoing with interested parties which include the two frontrunners to buy the club, Qatari Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani and British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe.
However, the key reason for the delay to a process that started last November is the lack of agreement over a selling price.
While both parties in the running have offered north of £5bn, the Glazers are holding out for substantially more.
And while the main elements of the business remain strong, an under-par campaign has failed to inject urgency or persuade those involved to ramp up their bids to an as-yet acceptable level.
Sources close to the process say that United’s poor start, which has seem then win twice and lose three times, including Saturday’s morale sagging 3-1 home defeat at the hands of Brighton, has not gone unnoticed among those in the running.
They say that this season’s struggles have crystalised the size of the rebuilding job needed and the scale of the investment which would be required on the playing side to get United challenging at the top of the table and in Europe again.
While fundamental revenue streams are so-far untouched, those involved have seen nothing to sway them away from the view that the prices offered represent a generous valuation of the club.
And the view that United were a side on the up under Ten Hag, having won the Carabao Cup and secured qualification for the Champions League last term, now has a question mark against it.
Issues off the field, with Antony and Jadon Sancho currently not being considered for selection, have added to what is a gloomy picture ahead of tonight’s trip to Bayern Munich.
With the 12-month landmark approaching since the Glazers, who have been subject to protests from fans, announced they were exploring ‘strategic alternatives’ there have been no official updates.
On Monday, chief executive Richard Arnold told those at an all-staff meeting to remain resilient, confirming a previous Mail Sport report that the strategic review remained ongoing..