Mohammed bin Salman

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Saudis say crown prince will not buy Man United

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The Saudi government confirmed its sovereign wealth fund held sponsorship talks with Manchester United but says Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman doesn’t want to buy English football’s most successful club.

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British newspaper The Sun had reported the prince was stepping up a bid for United.

But Saudi media minister Turki Al-Shabanah posted on Twitter “reports claiming that HRH the Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman intends on buying Man United are completely false.”

United is owned by the Glazer family, who also own the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Glazer family bought United in 2005 and maintained control after floating part of the record 20-time English champions on the New York Stock Exchange in 2012.

Al-Shabanah tweeted that United held a meeting with Saudi’s sovereign wealth fund “to discuss sponsorship opportunity. No deal has been materialized.”

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The crown prince faced international outrage last year following the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Khashoggi, who had written critically about the royal family, went missing in October after entering the building. After denying for several weeks that Khashoggi was killed in the consulate, Saudi Arabia indicted 11 people in the killing, including several officials close to the crown prince. The kingdom denies the crown prince knew of the plot.