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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 September 2018

Manchester United stake 'may be sold to Chinese billionaire'

UK media reports that a buyer from China has contacted some of United’s independent shareholders

Jose Mourinho, left, and Antonio Conte, right, have been engaged in an escalating war of words in recent weeks. John Sibley / Reuters
Jose Mourinho, left, and Antonio Conte, right, have been engaged in an escalating war of words in recent weeks. John Sibley / Reuters

English Premier League football giants Manchester United could become the latest European club to come under Chinese ownership after a mystery buyer was reported to have expressed an interest in buying out some of the club’s shareholders.

The UK newspaper The Sunday Times reported that a buyer from China has contacted some of United’s independent shareholders in an attempt to purchase a holding in the Old Trafford club.

The report comes a week before the start of the new EPL season – next Sunday Man United take on West Ham

Negotiators, said to be working on behalf of a Chinese billionaire, have been in touch with several United shareholders in the past few weeks.

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The mystery investor may have been given encouragement to pursue a stake in the 20-times English champions by persistent rumours that certain members of the Glazer family would be open to the idea of selling a bigger chunk of the club.

According to The Sunday Times, of the six Glazer children, three are said to be interested in a sale. One City source claims that a ­sizeable block of shares - about 8 per cent of the club - was being offered for sale last week by an American broker. The underlying owner of the stake was unclear.

The United States-based Glazers control around 80 per cent of United, with the rest being held by investment funds in the UK and US.

* Agencies

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