David Beckham's Miami MLS franchise in talks over Qatar investment - reports
Paris Saint-Germain majority shareholder Qatar Sports Investments (QSI) is holding talks to buy a stake in David Beckham's proposed new Major League Soccer franchise, according to reports.
The Miami Herald reported last week that former England captain Beckham was shopping around shares and that there was significant interest from QSI, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich and more.
Miami Beckham United (MBU), the ownership vehicle behind the proposed franchise, issued a statement confirming talks were taking place and the BBC and The Guardian report that QSI is now in negotiations over an equity stake.
The statement read: "As Miami Beckham United lays the groundwork for launching a world-class soccer club in Miami, our team has attracted interest from a number of potential partners.
"David Beckham, [Beckham's business partner] Simon Fuller and [Bolivian businessman] Marcelo Claure are evaluating these possibilities, with the goal of bringing additional resources and international expertise that draws players, staff and fans from around the world.
"Any potential partner will share our team's vision of creating a team that makes Miami and MLS proud. At the same time, we are performing due diligence on our stadium site as we move toward finalising the acquisition of two privately held properties and a third county-owned parcel over the coming weeks."
QSI, part of the Qatar Investment Authority, bought a 70 percent stake in PSG in 2011 and has gone on to invest heavily in making the French club one of world football's leading powers, with stars such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva and Angel Di Maria now part of the club.
Beckham also had a brief stint at the Parc des Princes in 2013 after leaving the LA Galaxy at the end of his career.
Beckham said in December that he would like to see former PSG teammate Ibrahimovic, 34, join the Miami franchise in the future if timing allows, with MBU currently hoping to take part from the 2018 MLS season.
In November, Tim Leiweke, Beckham's partner who is leading negotiations for MBU, admitted that a deal to have the necessary funding in place to close the stadium land deal was in serious danger of falling apart, although the new investment promises to put the project back on track.
MBU reportedly wants to have a deal in place for a 25,000 seat stadium in Overtown, northwest of downtown Miami, by the end of February.