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United deny Qatar talk

Manchester United have denied reports Qatar Holding is attempting to negotiate a £1.5 billion takeover from the current owners.

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British newspapers claim the Middle Eastern investment group, controlled by the Qatari royal family, made an approach to United shortly after the nation secured the rights to host the 2022 World Cup.

The Qatar group recently announced a massive £125 million sponsorship deal with Barcelona, who had previously not carried a paying front-of-shirt partner, as part of a strategy to boost its brand and credibility ahead of the World Cup.

Now it is apparently looking to buy United from the Glazer family, but the American owners, who bought the club for £800 million in 2005, were said to want closer to £2 billion.

A United spokesman, though, said on Sunday that there was no truth that talks had taken place: "There has been no approach of any kind to buy the club and one wouldn't be welcome anyway because it is not for sale."

The Glazers have become unpopular among a sizeable proportion of fans after using club revenues to repay the high interest loans they used to acquire the club.

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