Manchester United co-owner Avram Glazer has held talks with potential investors during his trip to Doha for the World Cup, including from Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
The Glazer family announced their intention to “explore strategic alternatives” for United “including new investment into the club, a sale, or other transactions” in November.
The Raine Group, who are acting as United’s exclusive financial advisor, is aiming for a full sale of the club in the first quarter of 2023 at a price between £6billion and £7bn.
The nature of the talks between Glazer and the different groups he has met in Doha is not clear.
Glazer has other business interests in the region and there is scepticism from some people in the financial world that an Arabian Gulf nation would be interested in buying into the club at such high prices.
But Glazer has used his visit to the Middle East to hold talks with potential investors at a time when he is looking to sell the Premier League club.
Manchester United and Raine Group did not comment on this story when contacted by The Athletic.
On Wednesday, Glazer told The Athletic that the sale process was “going forwards” during his trip to Qatar.
He said after watching France’s 2-0 semi-final win over Morocco: “It’s not necessarily a sale, it’s a process and we’re going forward with the process, so we’ll see what happens.
“That’s the update, it’s the process and the process is proceeding.”
What we’re hearing about the sale of Manchester United
It is unclear who Glazer was with or the guest of but those seated in the VIP or VVIP section — the latter which hosted French president Emmanuel Macron for the game — are typically invitees of either the Qatari state, FIFA or commercial partners.
There have been previous discussions with Saudi Arabia regarding investment in United, as well as talks with Dubai-based investment funds. Avram Glazer also bought a cricket franchise in United Arab Emirates’ T20 cricket league.
The talks come after Saudi Arabia sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal said he hoped his compatriots invested in United or rivals Liverpool, who are also up for sale.
Prince Turki, speaking to Sky News in November, said when asked about potential investment: “I hope so, if there are investors and the numbers add up, and it makes a good business.
“Then the private sector could come in, or companies could come in, from the kingdom.
“The Premier League is the best league in the world. Everyone’s watching the Premier League. It’s the most watched league and there are diehard fans of these teams in the kingdom. So it would be a benefit for everyone.”
Avram Glazer, who was born in Rochester, New York and is the son of Malcolm Glazer, who bought United in 2005. Avram and his brother Joel took over day-to-day running of the club in 2006 after Malcolm’s stroke. The six Glazer children own 90 per cent of the club.
The Glazer family also own the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who won the Super Bowl in 2020.
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(Photo: Getty Images)