Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group insisted Friday the Premier League club is not for sale after details emerged of a failed £2 billion ($2.6 billion) takeover bid from a cousin of Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour.
The Daily Mail newspaper reported that Abu Dhabi-based Sheikh Khaled Bin Zayed Al Nehayan approached the club over several months in late 2017 and into early 2018.
He then made the £2 billion offer that would have been the most expensive takeover in the history of the game.
Liverpool – 18-times English champions – said the club was still open to new outside investment but is not for sale.
Britain’s Press Association said it understood that the interest – one of a number of approaches FSG have received in recent years – did not get past the vetting stage because it was deemed neither credible nor worthy of being put to the ownership.
“FSG have been clear and consistent: the club is not for sale,” said a Liverpool statement.
“But what the ownership has said, again clearly and consistently, is that under the right terms and conditions we would consider taking on a minority investor, if such a partnership was to further our commercial interests in specific market places and in line with the continued development and growth of the club and the team.”
Malcolm Glazer’s £790 million purchase of Premier League rivals Manchester United in 2005 remains the most expensive football takeover deal.
Liverpool, bought by their owners, then known as New England Sports Ventures, for £300 million in 2010, were valued at £1.42 billion by business services group KPMG in May.
© Agence France-Presse (additional edits from Chris Kelleher)