SAUDI Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman is stepping up his A$6.8 billion takeover bid of Manchester United – in the hope of becoming the new owner by next season.
It comes with United chiefs spending an increasing amount of time in Saudi Arabia.
Now the Saudi royal, whose family are worth around £850BILLION, will hope current owners the Glazer family can be tempted into selling.
Sources around Old Trafford have always denied the Glazers want to sell, but the mega offer could be too good to turn down.
The American family purchased United for £790million almost 14 years ago but saddled the club with huge debt.
But it seems like it will work out pretty well for them if they do sell – making an astronomical £2.2billion profit.
The Sun first reported the Saudi interest back in October, and that buying the club outright was the top choice.
But the skids were put on a potential offer after the Crown Prince became embroiled in the diplomatic row after journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed.
The £3.8bn valuation is dependent on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer delivering Manchester United a place in next season’s Champions League, with a deal unlikely to be agreed before their qualification is confirmed.
Should United fall short, a compromise is likely to be reached on a lower valuation.
Bin Salman, 33, reportedly wants to buy Manchester United to take on Man City, who are owned by Sheikh Mansour of the Abu Dhabi royal family.
The country has already made investments in sport through deals with F1 and WWE.
But so far its biggest play in football has been banning Qatar’s beIN SPORTS from broadcasting in the country.
BeoutQ, a firm allegedly based in Saudi Arabia, has been pirating the beIN SPORTS coverage of the Premier League.
Buying into United would be a massive statement in the wider financial and political battles being fought between the Gulf states.
Bin Salman is the heir to the throne in Saudi Arabia, and is currently serving as the country’s deputy prime minister.
His work in developing greater equality between the sexes in his home country has been heralded worldwide, as has his move to make Saudi Arabia more attractive to visit for tourists.
Who is Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman? His full name is Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and he was born on August 31, 1985, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
The prince is the son of the current head of state King Salman and his third wife Fahda bint Falah bin Sultan bin Hathleen.
Mohammed is the eldest of his full siblings and has a law degree from King Saud University in Riyadh.
He entered politics in 2009 becoming a personal aide to his dad when he was still governor of Riyadh.
Following the death of King Abdullah in 2015 his father took the throne and elevated him to the positions of Defence Minister and Deputy Crown Prince.
In 2017 King Salman deposed the previous Crown Prince, Muhammad bin Nayef, and elevated his son to heir apparent.
He is also deputy prime minister.
This story originally appeared in The Sun and was reproduced with permission.