Saudi takeover of Manchester United dismissed
Prince Mohammed bin Salman's rumoured interest in buying Manchester United is false according to a denial issued by one of his ministers in Saudi Arabia.
A report by The Sun claimed Bin Salman was readying a £3.8billion takeover bid – a deal that would give the Glazer family a huge £2.2bn profit on the club they controversially acquired for £790million in 2005.
A tweet from Turki Al-Shabanah, the minister for Saudi media, claimed a meeting had taken place between United representatives and the Gulf state's royal investment fund, but only to discuss a potential sponsorship tie-up.
"The news that Prince Mohammed bin Salman desires to acquire Manchester United is completely untrue news," Al-Shabanah's tweet read.
"The fact of the matter is that the club held a meeting with the public investment fund to discuss an advertisement sponsorship project.
"The Fund listened to the proposals as [it would] any other".
الأنباء التي زعمت عن رغبة سمو الأمير محمد بن سلمان في الاستحواذ على نادي مانشيستر يونايتد اخبار عارية عن الصحة تماما.فحقيقة الأمر ان النادي عقد اجتماعا مع صندوق الاستثمارات العامة لبحث مشروع رعايه اعلانيه ،والصندوق استمع الى الاقتراحات كأي جهةاستتثماريه ولم تسفر عن اي نتيجه.— تركي الشبانه (@TurkiAlshabanah) February 17, 2019
In October 2017, United agreed a strategic partnership in Saudi Arabia with the country's General Sports Authority (GSA).
The Red Devils also have a commercial partnership with Saudi Telecom and, at the time of the GSA deal, United's group managing director Richard Arnold said: "The club has a long-standing relationship with Saudi Arabia and has over five million passionate fans in the region.
"Having the chance to help shape the football industry in the Kingdom is a great honour and it is something where we believe we can make a big difference."