The truth behind Manchester United Saudi Arabia takeover rumour

Manchester United director Richard Arnold’s trip to Saudi Arabia was not connected to a potential takeover of the club.

United have been the subject of rumours of a big-money takeover by the Middle Eastern country’s crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman.

Managing director Arnold fuelled speculation this week when photographs and videos of him meeting Saudi delegates appeared on Twitter, but United sources are understood to be bemused by rumours of a takeover, with the visit not believed to be connected to a possible sale of the club.

Arnold was in Saudi Arabia but knows the son of Bin Salman, since he used to work in telecommunications.

In 2017, United signed a memorandum of understanding with Saudi Arabia’s General Sports Authority to develop the football industry in the Gulf state.

A United announcement at the time said: “Strategic partnership will see the club help Saudi Arabia’s General Sports Authority to create a sustainable and thriving football sector Manchester United and the General Sports Authority of Saudi Arabia have today agreed a Memorandum of Understanding, which will see the 20-time English League champions help the GSA develop its football industry, as part of its 2030 Vision.”

In February of this year, Bin Salman denied reports that he intended to purchase the Premier League club amid reports he was set to launch a £3.8billion bid.

Meanwhile, United’s executive vice chairman Ed Woodward has recently said he does not think the Glazer family, who have owned the club since 2005, are looking to sell.

“Based on what I see, they’re in it for the long-term,” Woodward told fanzine United We Stand.

“With regards to offers or asking prices, my understanding is that there have been no discussions for a price for the club or anything like that. Every conversation we have is based on the long-term.”

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