Man Utd takeover – Zara chief Ortega ‘interested’ in rivalling Apple

Cristiano Ronaldo's Man Utd contract terminated

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Zara owner Amancio Ortega has reportedly registered an interest in buying Manchester United from the Glazers. Tech heavyweights Apple are also thought to be in the mix as the world’s richest individuals and organisations throw their hats into the ring before bids flood in for the Premier League giants.

United fans were given positive news this week when it emerged that controversial owners the Glazers are open to selling the club. An official statement indicated that strategic options are being considered, which could end their unpopular 17-year stewardship at Old Trafford. 

With the eye-watering price tag reportedly set at £6billion, only the world’s wealthiest prospects are likely to be in the running. That holds particularly true given the work that needs doing at the club, with the infrastructure and stadium lagging behind those of other European giants. 

Amid reports that Apple are weighing up a potential takeover, the Manchester Evening News claim that Zara boss Ortega is also interested in joining the party. 

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The 86-year-old is among the 20 richest people on earth with an estimated net worth of close to £51bn. That pales in comparison to Apple’s net worth, however, with the tech Behemoth valued at a colossal £2trillion – an amount that would make United the richest club in the world. 

Ortega owns 59 per cent of the Inditex empire that includes clothing giants Zara, Bershka and Pull&Bear. The Spaniard has supposedly informed senior executives that he is keen to consider launching a bid for the Red Devils. 

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Like Apple CEO Tim Cook, Ortega has no experience leading a football club of United’s size. Avram Glazer was confronted outside a restaurant in Florida this week where he briefly answered questions on the possibility of selling the club and Cristiano Ronaldo’s bitter exit, after having his contract terminated by mutual agreement. 

Reluctant to give too much away, Glazer simply reiterated that the owners are ‘going through a process’, adding: “We’ll see where it leads us.” Raine Group are among the banks overseeing the prospective takeover, having fulfilled a similar role to assist Todd Boehly and Clearlake’s acquisition of Chelsea earlier this year. 

Lifelong United fan Sir Jim Ratcliffe is also expected to be in the conversation when a shortlist is drawn up in a few weeks’ time. Estimates range on the INEOS owner’s personal wealth, and although he can’t compete with the fortunes piled up by Apple and Ortega, he does have experience in club ownership with OGC Nice. 

Outgoing star Ronaldo recently lashed out at United’s infrastructure and facilities during a fiery interview with Talk TV host Piers Morgan. The Glazers are said to have disputed claims that they have neglected aspects of the club. 

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