Saudi Arabia says it wants its investors to take over Manchester United and Liverpool – and hopes Cristiano Ronaldo comes to play in its home league.
Sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal revealed the nation's newest sporting ambitions in an interview with Sky News — with the sovereign wealth fund already proudly owning Newcastle and now funding a breakaway golf collection.
It is the supply of United — after the Glazers introduced plans for a possible sale — and Ronaldo that’s attention-grabbing Prince Abdulaziz.
He could be eager on Ronaldo signing for a Saudi Pro League crew after the World Cup, with the 37-year-old a free agent following a fraught departure this week from United.
"Who wouldn't want him to play in their league?" Prince Abdulaziz advised Sky News. "He's a role model to a lot of young players — him and Messi."
Sky Sports News understands Saudi Arabian membership Al-Hilal are exploring a deal to signal Ronaldo.
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The imaginative and prescient would see the Saudi league that includes each Ronaldo and Messi, who continues to be signed up to Paris Saint-Germain however is already signed up to promote Saudi Arabia.
"That's benefited a lot in terms of tourism for the kingdom," Prince Abdulaziz mentioned. "If they can, I'd love to see them both play in the Saudi league."
Newcastle was purchased by the Saudis final 12 months by way of the Public Investment Fund, which the Premier League claims isn’t managed by the federal government regardless of being headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Now two different Premier League golf equipment are in the marketplace — Liverpool and United — and the sports activities minister wants both — or each — to fall beneath Saudi possession.
"I hope so, if there are investors and the numbers add up, and it makes a good business," he mentioned. "Then the private sector could come in, or companies could come in, from the kingdom."
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He added: "The Premier League is the best league in the world. Everyone's watching the Premier League. It's the most watched league and there are diehard fans of these teams in the kingdom. So it would be a benefit for everyone."
"I can say that we have a strong league. It's not one of the strongest in Asia. You know, we're building towards a better future. And we see how the future holds up for that."
He continued: "And you know, I heard about these speculations in the news as, as everyone else. I don't have any details about any of the reports that have been coming out. But you know, what I can say is that we have Messi as an ambassador for tourism in the kingdom with the ministry of tourism — and that's benefited a lot.
"In phrases of tourism for the dominion, if they’ll, I'd love to see them each play within the Saudi league, and, , if high gamers come into the Saudi league and play that may reinforce the packages that we're doing."
Avram Glazer confronted on Man Utd sale and Ronaldo
Manchester United co-owner Avram Glazer has spoken for the first time since announcing the club could be up for sale.
Sky News tracked him down near his home in West Palm Beach, Florida, where he was asked why now was the right time to sell the club.
He said: "As we introduced yesterday, the board went by way of a course of and determined it's going to have a look at completely different strategic options — and that's what we're doing."
He repeated the answer when questioned why the club had not been sold earlier and added: "We'll see the place that leads us."
The Glazers were reportedly furious at the remarks from Cristiano Ronaldo in his recent interview and Ronaldo this week left United by mutual consent.
Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United walks on the pitch during a Premier League match between Manchester United and Liverpool FC on Aug. 22, 2022 in Manchester, England.Ash Donelon | Manchester United | Getty Images
But Avram Glazer refused to be drawn on the striker's claim — echoed by many fans — that his family "don't care concerning the membership."
He told Sky News: "Well, I'll let you know about Cristiano Ronaldo — he's a fantastic Manchester United participant, I respect all the things he's finished for the membership and I want him one of the best luck sooner or later."
How everything has changed in 16 days…
November 8: Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group say they are "open to investors" to come in and help the club – which they remain "totally dedicated to". Reports had previously claimed that FSG were open to selling the club.
November 11: Liverpool announce director Mike Gordon, who is FSG's president, is stepping back from his role amid reports of a club sale.
November 13: Cristiano Ronaldo's bombshell interview with TalkTV is announced, in which he criticizes Manchester United, the Glazer family and manager Erik ten Hag among others.
November 17: The second part of Ronaldo's interview is broadcast, in which he claims the Glazers "don’t care" about United.
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November 22, 5:30pm: After taking legal advice, Manchester United announce they have terminated Ronaldo's contract at United by mutual consent, with the 37-year-old becoming a free agent.
November 22, 7:30pm: Two hours after Ronaldo's exit is confirmed, Sky News break the story that the Glazer family are open to selling Manchester United.
November 22, 9:30pm: Two hours later, Manchester United release a statement revealing the Glazers are open to identifying "strategic options… together with new funding into the membership, a sale, or different transactions involving the corporate."
November 23: Reports within the UK declare British billionaire and lifelong Manchester United fan Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who has beforehand expressed his curiosity in taking on at Old Trafford, will enter the bidding race to purchase United.
November 24: Liverpool announce sporting director Julian Ward, who solely changed Michael Edwards within the position a 12 months in the past, is about to go away the membership on the finish of the season. Director of analysis Ian Graham can also be to step away from his position.
November 24: Saudi Arabia sports activities minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal reveals to Sky News his nation's ambition to take over each Manchester United and Liverpool.
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