Manchester United are not likely to be the subject of a takeover bid from Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman after the wealthy Middle East royal is reported to have 'abandoned' and 'given up' on alleged plans to buy the Old Trafford club.
The narrative that has existed for the last six months claims that the Crown Prince wished to buy United to rival Abu Dhabi-owned Manchester City and Qatar-owned Paris Saint-Germain.
There was speculation that super agent and top broker Pini Zahavi had been hired to help with the potential deal, which was loosely valued between £3bn and £4bn.
The legitimacy of claims that Bin Salman was interested in a United takeover were never all that clear due to the murky sourcing of the stories that first surfaced last October, as highlighted in a column by Marina Hyde for The Guardian.
But, according to The Sun, interest did persist, with the tabloid alleging that Zahavi and Saudi representatives met in Marrakech as recently as February, supposedly to 'discuss how to advance their plans to buy United'.
The Sun now claims that the Saudi Crown Prince was met with 'flat refusal' in his efforts, with the Glazer family not even willing to consider selling the club that the late Malcolm Glazer took control of through a controversial 2005 deal that plunged United into enormous debt.
It is claimed that Joel and Avram Glazer, the Glazer offspring who are most involved with United and serve as co-chairmen, plan to take on a 'more hands-on role' moving forward, with the day-to-day running of the club having been left to executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward since 2013.
And while United remains the alleged 'ultimate target' for Saudi Arabia, The Sun claims no change in the current situation will see attention turn to other targets. Exactly what, is unclear.
United managing director Richard Arnold and Avram Glazer were actually pictured in Saudi Arabia last November. Yet it has been reported that the purpose of that visit and seemingly others like it was driven by sponsorship and commercial relationships, not a looming takeover.
A recent rumour that United were to be the subject of a takeover from Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos was quickly shown to be unfounded and the work of online pranksters.