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Amancio Ortega 'interested in buying Manchester United'

Amancio Ortega 'interested in buying Manchester United'
© Reuters
Spanish billionaire Amancio Ortega expresses an interest in buying Manchester United, according to a report.

Spanish billionaire Amancio Ortega is reportedly interested in buying Manchester United.

The club's current owners, the Glazer family, have confirmed that they are open to a sale, and there has since been a host of speculation surrounding potential interested parties.

Apple are said to be considering making a bid, while British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe is also believed to be keeping a close eye on the developments surrounding the 20-time English champions.

According to the Manchester Evening News, Ortega is also in the running, with the 86-year-old informing senior executives of his desire to purchase the club from the Glazers.

Ortega is the founder of the Inditex fashion group, which includes the well-known brand Zara, and it is understood that the Spaniard is worth in the region of $61.3bn (£50.8bn).

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and co-owners Joel Glazer and Avram Glazer in April 2019© Reuters

A deal for Man United could reportedly be done in the region of £5.8bn, with the Glazers dropping their asking price from the £8bn that they had originally wanted.

"Manchester United plc, one of the most successful and historic sports clubs in the world, announces today that the company's board of directors (the "board") is commencing a process to explore strategic alternatives for the club," read a statement from the Glazers on Man United's official website on Monday.

"The process is designed to enhance the club's future growth, with the ultimate goal of positioning the club to capitalize on opportunities both on the pitch and commercially.

"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."

As well as ensuring success on the field, any potential new owner will be expected to invest in infrastructure, including the club's training complex and Old Trafford.

A recent report claimed that Apple would be willing to sanction the building of a new stadium, which is likely to cost in excess of £1bn, with Old Trafford now falling behind some of the other grounds in the Premier League in terms of facilities.

Man United have found it difficult to battle for major trophies since Sir Alex Ferguson's departure in 2013, but the team have made a positive start to the 2022-23 campaign under Erik ten Hag.

The Red Devils are not back in competitive action until December 21, when they will face Burnley in the EFL Cup, but the club will take on Cadiz and Real Betis in the early stages of December.

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General view inside Old Trafford before the match on January 10, 2022
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Apple 'interested in £5.8bn Manchester United takeover'
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