According to reports in the Daily Express, the Glazer family, owners of Manchester United Football Club, have closed in on a deal to sell the club to Qatar Holdings for £1.6 billion, double what they paid when they brought the club in May 2005.
The report claims that a deal has already been agreed upon and that minor details are all that remains between Qatar Holdings and Manchester United. It is believed that the Manchester Derby on Saturday could be the last game under the Glazer family's rule over United.
Daily Express reported that a well-placed source was quoted as saying that The deal is pretty much done and they are only haggling over details.
However, despite reports that a takeover is nearing completion, United's director of communications, Phil Townsend, maintained that no offer has been made and that the Americans (the Glazers), haven't been entertaining any bids. He told the Daily Express, There has been no approach to buy Manchester United and no approach would be welcome.
The Glazers ownership of United has come under much criticism from the clubs fans with their main concern being the debt which the Americans laid on the club's shoulders. The Glazers brought United for £790m in 2005, but the majority of the cash came from various loans which they went on to heave on the club.
However, if reports are to be believed, Qatar Holdings' £1.6 billion deal will reap the Glazers a huge profit, and though the United fans will be mortified at the thought of the profit the Glazer's reap, they'll be happy to see their back.
Qatar Holding is the investment branch of the Qatari royal family led by the Gulf state's Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani. It already has an impressive portfolio of assets in England which includes London's American Embassy and the up-market department store Harrods.
Qatar, having secured rights to stage the FIFA World Cup in 2022, are anxious to capitalize on the increasing popularity of the game in the country and securing the one of the World's biggest clubs would go a long way to that effect.
The deal comes as a coincidence as United face neighbors Manchester City on Saturday, who themselves faced an upturn in fortunes after a takeover from another Middle East tycoon - Abu Dhabi's Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan in 2008.