Qatar bid for Manchester United?

Manchester United has reportedly held secret talks with Qatar Holding over a potential £1.5 billion takeover from the current Glazer family owners, but the club denied it is for sale.

British newspapers claim the Middle Eastern investment group, controlled by the Qatari royal family, made an approach to United shortly after the tiny nation secured the rights to host the 2022 World Cup.

The Qatar group recently announced a massive £125 million sponsorship deal with Barcelona, who had previously not carried a paying front-of-shirt partner, as part of a strategy to boost its brand and credibility ahead of the World Cup.

Now it is looking to buy United from the unpopular Glazers. But the American owners, who bought the club for £800 million in 2005, reportedly want closer to £2 billion.

Qatar Holding will not be priced out of a purchase but it is currently unwilling to match that price, meaning the situation could reach a stand-off.

The Glazers have been criticised for using club revenues to repay the high interest loans they used to acquire the club. Even if they were to accept a bid of £1.5 billion, it would represent a fantastic piece of business from their perspective. And although United fans might not like to see the Glazers make a huge profit off their club, that frustration would perhaps be appeased by the likely massive cash injection Qatari owners would provide, along the lines of that which has fuelled the progress at cross-town rivals City.

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