United released a statement on Tuesday night announcing that the Glazers were seeking new investment, either through a partial or full sale of the club, raising the prospect of the Americans ending their controversial 17-year-old ownership.
Sources said that while all avenues would be explored and the Glazers would be open to minority investment if it represented the right strategic partnership and value, there would be reluctance to relinquish control of the club without a full sale . The family has been the majority shareholder of Manchester United since 2005 and Joel and Avram Glazer are co-chairmen of the club.
Although the news comes barely two weeks after it was revealed that Fenway Sports Group, fellow architects in last year’s failed European Super League plan, wanted to sack Liverpool, the Glazers have been months in the process of selling United. “I would say this goes back to the summer,” said a source, adding that news of United’s availability could cause a “spike” in the Liverpool process.
Sources close to Qatar Sports Investments, meanwhile, have categorically ruled out any interest in United, telling Telegraph Sport that long-term commitments remain with European rivals PSG.
American billionaires Josh Harris and David Blitzer, owners of the Philadelphia 76ers NBA franchise and minority shareholders in Crystal Palace, were among those who bid for Chelsea.
There have been estimates in recent months that the Glazers – whose ownership on the pitch has gradually declined and sparked massive fan protests – could ask for as much as £8bn or £9bn for United, but sources would only say: This is a club with huge potential.”