MANCHESTER (Halbeeg News)-Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is stepping up a 3.8 billion-pound ($4.9 billion) bid for Manchester United, seeking to tempt the Glazer family to cede control of the Premier League soccer team before next season, the Sun on Sunday reported.
Bin Salman first made a bid for the team in October, the Sun said, but the diplomatic row that followed the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi embassy in Istanbul “put the skids” on the offer.
United is controlled by the American Glazer family, owners of the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They bought the U.K. soccer club in 2005 in an acquisition heavily financed by debt and, in 2012, listed it in New York. They have no interest in selling, the newspaper said.
The 3.8-billion-pound valuation depends on interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer getting the team into next season’s Champions League, with a deal unlikely before that’s confirmed, according to the newspaper’s Sunday report.
The Sun said Bin Salman’s interest in United is driven by a desire to challenge Premier League rival Manchester City, which is owned by Sheikh Mansour of Abu Dhabi’s royal family.
While United is publicly traded in New York, the Glazers still control the club by holding most of its B-shares, according to the Sun.
Source: The Sun