Reports from The Athletic on Friday claimed that the Paris Saint-Germain president and CEO, chairman of the Qatari state-owned entertainment and sports network beIN Media Group, had played a “significant role” in talks over Sheikh Jassim potentially taking over from the Glazers at Old Trafford.
The Athletic reported that Al-Khelaifi had been approached by Sheikh Jassim’s bid team for advice on the valuation of the club and was later contacted by the Glazers to try and convince Sheikh Jassim to increase his offer, also allegedly meeting with Raine Group, the American investment bank handling the sale of United on behalf of the Glazers.
However, Al-Khelaifi – who has been in charge at PSG since their 2011 takeover by Qatar Sports Investments, of which he is the chairman – has now totally distanced himself from the takeover bid for Manchester United, insisting he has nothing to do with it.
“Paris Saint-Germain is my club, my heart and nothing to do with Man United,” he told the Associated Press before Saturday night’s Champions League final between Manchester City and Inter Milan in Istanbul.
“I’m not working for anyone. I want the best for football. When this guy asked me, I tell him my opinion. So if they ask me my opinion I will answer them for sure and that’s what they do.
“Anyone, not just Man United. I will give them my experience that I have. That’s it.”
There is still no resolution on the United takeover front some seven months after the Glazers first announced that they were considering a sale following 18 years at the helm, with Sheikh Jassim and British billionaire and Ineos founder Sir Jim Ratcliffe competing to buy the club.
Sheikh Jassim was said to have submitted a fifth and last bid for United this week and set a final deadline of Friday (June 9) for progress, although claims that he would walk away from the process if a decision was not reached by then were later played down.