Contrary to rumours that a Manchester United sale was being lined up, the Premier League club have today vehemently denied such a suggestion.
With a number of reports originating in The Sun, United were allegedly the interest of Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. However, as per Sky Sports, suggestions that a Manchester United sale is being planed are false.
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) October 15, 2018
Buoying these rumours of a sale on behalf of the club's current American owners, the Glazer family, it was reported that Avram Glazer, the club's co-chairman, was flying to the Saudi capital of Riyadh this week for the Future Investment Initiative conference.
Estimated to be worth a fortune that numbers in the high hundreds of billions, a number of Manchester United fans would unquestionably welcome the arrival of a figure of bin Salman, and the expected expenditure that would almost certainly follow.
However, the Crown Prince's critics are plentiful. John Simpson of the BBC, responding to rumours of a potential sale to bin Salman, outlined allegations currently being targeted at the club's prospective new owner.
It's being reported that @ManUtd's American owners want to sell to the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman. He's the one who's being accused of ordering the murder of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
— John Simpson (@JohnSimpsonNews) October 15, 2018
Turkish intelligence believes that the journalist Jamal Khashoggi was abducted or assassinated on the orders of the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, who is a key figure in the Trump Administration’s Middle East strategy: https://t.co/2nqzT1r1Qu pic.twitter.com/8IU7ypZSoW
— The New Yorker (@NewYorker) October 15, 2018
The New York Times has similarly outlined the complications currently surrounding bin Salman, and the initial excitement with which his seemingly progressive outlook was being met.
Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a sharp critic of the Saudi government, walked into the country’s consulate in Istanbul and didn’t walk out.
Last week, American intelligence officials found supporting evidence for Turkish assessments that Mr. Khashoggi ... was murdered at the hands of the Saudis. Fred Ryan, the publisher of The Post, called Mr. Khashoggi’s disappearance a likely case of “state-sponsored, cold-blooded murder.”
The Saudi Arabian royal family have denied any involvement whatsoever in the death of Jamal Khashoggi.
In October 2017, Manchester United announced that a "strategic partnership" with Saudi Arabia that intended to, "help Saudi Arabia's General Sports Authority to create a sustainable and thriving football sector."
Speaking at the launch, the club's managing director Richard Arnold described the mutually beneficial, longstanding relationship United had with the Gulf state.
“The club has a long-standing relationship with Saudi Arabia and has over five million passionate fans in the region.
"Our partnership with Saudi Telecom is the longest running of all our commercial partners. Having the chance to help shape the football industry in the Kingdom is a great honour and it is something where we believe we can make a big difference."
Strengthening Manchester United's ties with one of the middle-eastern's power brokers, it would appear that for now the Glazer family will remain in control of the club their controversially acquired in 2005.