The long awaited movement from the Glazers to sell Manchester United may well be underway, if reports on Wednesday are to be believed.
The American owners of United are less than popular with the club's fans, and their unpopularity has rocketed in recent weeks and months as the fortunes of the team continue to take a downturn.
Protests are planned ahead of Monday's game against Liverpool at Old Trafford, with a group of United fans proposing a boycott of the match to leave Old Trafford empty.
On Wednesday, Bloomberg reported that the Glazers are willing to at least sell a small stake in Manchester United, in what would appear to be the first step towards them departing the club.
Glazers considering selling minority stake in Manchester United
The Glazers are supposedly exploring the possibility to sell a minority stake in Manchester United, according to Bloomberg.
They assert, however, that directors Joel and Avram Glazer have no interest in selling the club entirely - a deal that could cost prospective buyers up to £5bn.
*GLAZERS SAID OPEN TO SALE OF MINORITY MANCHESTER UNITED STAKE$MANU
— *Walter Bloomberg (@DeItaone) August 17, 2022
The news will be of some comfort to Manchester United fans, but many will not be satisfied until the Glazers decide to sell the club entirely.
The Florida-based family have been deeply unpopular with large sections of the fanbase since taking over the club with a leveraged buyout in 2005, with major protests even seeing a game against Liverpool called off in 2021.
After a dismal opening to the season under new boss Erik Ten Hag, and a lack of meaningful activity in the transfer market, Manchester United fans are pushing harder than ever for the Glazers to sell the club. Former United right-back Gary Neville clashed with his fellow Sky pundit Jamie Redknapp when urging the owners to step away.
The reports of the Glazers exploring moving the club on come off the back of rumoured interest from a handful of prospective buyers. Michael Knighton and Jim Ratcliffe (the wealthiest man in Britain) are two of the names linked with buying Manchester United, while the richest man in the world Elon Musk joked on Twitter overnight that he would consider buying the club.
Also, I’m buying Manchester United ur welcome
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 17, 2022
The Independent reported on Wednesday that the Glazers would now be willing to sell, if their £5bn valuation of the club was met.
Will the Glazers actually begin to step aside at Old Trafford? And will it have any tangible effect on the club's on-field prospects? Time will tell.