Apple are reportedly interested in purchasing Manchester United in a deal that could be worth £5.8bn.
The English club’s current owners, the Glazer family, released a statement earlier this week confirming that they were open to a sale.
According to the Daily Star, the Glazers will spend the next month talking to interested parties, with British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe said to be in the running to purchase the club.
Meanwhile, Spanish billionaire Amancio Ortega is also said to be showing an interest in the 20-time English champions, who have struggled to compete for major trophies since Sir Alex Ferguson‘s departure in 2013.
Apple, who are the latest tech company in the world, have an annual revenue of close to £326bn, while their net worth is said to be £2tn.
The report claims that Apple CEO Tim Cook will line up talks with the banks appointed to oversee the sale, with the company seriously considering making a bid.
Apple would allegedly be willing to invest in a new state-of-the-art stadium, with Old Trafford falling behind a number of other grounds in the Premier League when it comes to facilities.
The Glazers were initially said to be looking for around £8bn to sell the club but have since dropped their price to between £5bn and £6bn.
Any deal involving Apple would reportedly make Man United the richest club in the world ahead of the likes of Manchester City, Newcastle United and Paris Saint-Germain.
“Manchester United plc, one of the most successful and historic sports clubs in the world, announces today that the company’s board of directors (the “board”) is commencing a process to explore strategic alternatives for the club,” read a statement from the Glazers on Man United’s official website.
“The process is designed to enhance the club’s future growth, with the ultimate goal of positioning the club to capitalize on opportunities both on the pitch and commercially.
“As part of this process, the board will consider all strategic alternatives, including new investment into the club, a sale, or other transactions involving the company.
“This will include an assessment of several initiatives to strengthen the club, including stadium and infrastructure redevelopment, and expansion of the club’s commercial operations on a global scale, each in the context of enhancing the long-term success of the club’s men’s, women’s and academy teams, and bringing benefits to fans and other stakeholders.”
Man United have won England’s top flight on 20 occasions, which is a record, while they have lifted the FA Cup on 12 occasions and European Cup three times.