Xavi reacts to Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani's £4bn Manchester United takeover bid: 'He's a serious person'
- Manchester United subject to takeover interest
- Qatar and Sir Jim Ratcliffe leading race
- United host Barcelona in Europa League second leg
WHAT HAPPENED? With the Glazer family looking to sell United for a figure of around £5 billion, a Qatari consortium led by Sheikh Jassim and Ineos founder Sir Jim Ratcliffe appear to be at the front of the pack to buy the club. There has been some controversy surrounding the Qatar bid, considering the state already owns Paris Saint-Germain and there have been a number of human rights and LGBT+ concerns in the country. However, Xavi played in the Middle East for Al Sadd for four seasons and then coached the club for two years, before his return to Barcelona as manager in November 2021, and he's now endorsed the Qatari bid for United.
WHAT HE SAID: "I have a good relationship with the person interested in buying the club, he’s a serious person and I’m sure he’d do a good job," Xavi said when quizzed on the potential takeover.
"I know him so well. I think he’s a very good person with responsibility, serious. I think it would be a very good option for United."
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THE BIGGER PICTURE: Xavi was speaking before Barcelona's Europa League knockout play-off second-leg tie against United at Old Trafford. The first leg last week finished in an entertaining 2-2 draw as Marcus Rashford caught the eye with a goal and an assist. Erik ten Hag's side are on a roll right now, having lost just one game since the World Cup break.
"United are one of the best teams in Europe at the moment, showing their quality and competitiveness through great results," said Xavi. "They’re the best United I've seen in the last few years, they have a great coach and great players who show a lot of personality and passion, so we need to match this.
"United are up there near the top of the Premier League, competing with Arsenal and Manchester City. It’s the perfect stage for us to show we can compete with these teams."
WHAT'S NEXT FOR UNITED? The Glazers will mull over all bids before making a final decision on the sale of the club, however, it has been suggested that they could yet stay on in the Old Trafford boardroom. American hedge fund Elliott Management has expressed an interest in pumping funds into United without taking control, which would allow Joel and Avram Glazer to remain at the helm.