Manchester United touted as club Saudi Arabia's PIF nearly bought 30 percent stake in
Governor of the Public Investment Fund (PIF) Yasir Al-Rumayyan told The Daily Mail that before settling on the purchase of Newcastle United, he was approached by another Premier League side about a possible investment opportunity.
The unnamed club - which The Daily Mail believes was Manchester United - offered the PIF a 30 percent stake for around £700 million, more than twice what Riyadh eventually paid to buy out all of Newcastle United's shares with its partners.
"For example, in the UK there was a team that approached us on the basis that we take 30 per cent of the ownership, and we don't interfere at all in terms of managing the club, for £700m," Al-Rumayyan said.
"We bought the whole team [Newcastle United] for £305m, instead of having only 30 per cent in another team for £700m," he added.
There were reports in 2019 that the PIF was interested in purchasing Manchester United from the Glazer family, which has been subject to ongoing protests by fans of the club.
The buy-out of Newcastle United was subject to protests by human rights groups angered at Saudi Arabia's human rights abuses and accused Riyadh of "sports washing".
It was also subject to ongoing efforts to block the deal.
The New Arab has approached Manchester United for comment about the claims.