Man Utd have ‘second Qatari party interested’ as Liverpool talks fail

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The Qatar Investment Authority has moved on from discussions with Liverpool over a potential takeover and will instead focus their attention on a blockbuster purchase of Manchester United, according to reports. QIA had been in talks with Reds owners Fenway Sports Group but apparently could not agree on a full takeover.

Qatari consortiums have been in talks with several Premier League clubs over possible investments. Liverpool, United and Tottenham have all reportedly been considered, although Qatar Sports Investment’s control of Paris Saint-Germain has provided a potential hitch.

QIA held discussions with Liverpool’s owners over buying the Merseyside club. FSG are understood to be seeking investment in the Reds, knowing they can no longer compete with the financial muscle of Manchester City, Chelsea and Newcastle.

However, FSG’s insistence that they will not sanction a full sale has seen QIA move on to north-west rivals United. They apparently do not want to invest £2billion in the club if they are not going to have full control of Liverpool.

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That is according to finance journalist Alex Miller, who reports that a full sale of Liverpool is ‘unlikely’. FSG are only interested in partial investment at this stage, despite reports from late last year claiming that the American group had put the club up for sale.

QIA – Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund – has apparently moved on to United, who have already had interest from a separate Qatari entity. A consortium from the Middle East nation is reportedly set to bid £4bn for the Red Devils.

A report by L’Equipe says that the group claims to be a private Qatari fund and is entirely separate to the sovereign wealth fund. Due to UEFA regulations, any Qatari group attempting to buy a club playing in European competition would need to prove that it is separate to QSI due to its ownership of PSG.

Alternatively, QSI would need to relinquish its control of the Ligue 1 champions. However, that seems unlikely at this stage.

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United were put up for sale last November and Raine Group were put in charge of assessing bids. It is the same bank that oversaw the £2.5bn takeover of Chelsea by the Boehly-Clearlake consortium last May.

CEO Richard Arnold updated fans on the process in late January, saying: “As part of this process, the board will consider all strategic alternatives, including new investment into the club, a sale, or other transactions involving the company.

“This will include an assessment of several initiatives to strengthen the club, including stadium and infrastructure redevelopment, and expansion of the club’s commercial operations on a global scale, each in the context of enhancing the long-term success of the club’s men’s, women’s and academy teams, and bringing benefits to fans and other stakeholders.”

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