Spanish billionaire Amancio Ortega has reportedly declared his interest in buying Manchester United from the Glazer family
Armancio Ortega, the founder of clothing brand Zara and the 19th richest man in the world, has reportedly thrown his hat in the ring to buy Manchester United.
United’s current owners, the Glazer family, put fellow billionaires on red alert earlier this week when they revealed they are now open to selling the club.
Now, the Manchester Evening News have detailed that Ortega has ‘already spoken to Old Trafford executives’ to declare his interest in buying United.
On a day where it has been revealed that Apple are interested in buying Manchester United in £5.8billion deal, news of reported interest from Ortega will intrigue supporters desperate to see the end of the Glazers reign.
Ortega is 86 and is reported to be worth $61.3billion, according to Forbes’ billionaire rich-list.
The Spanish fashion billionaire has no previous experience running a sports team and has instead made his money in real estate and fashion.
He owns 59 per cent of the Inditex clothing empire, which he started in 1975, and last year appointed his daughter, Maria Ortega Perez, as chairwoman of Zara.
Ortega, who has three children, would represent a shift from the Glazer family, who have owned Manchester United since 2005.
But there is anticipated to be lots of competition for United, as they remain one of the most lucrative companies in all of sport.
The Glazers confirmed this week that they are ready to sell United after 17 years at the club
A top priority for United’s new owner will be to upgrade their famous ground, Old Trafford
As well as news of Apple’s interest, first revealed by the Daily Star, there are a line of high-profile individuals who have shown an interest in taking charge.
Twitter CEO Elon Musk jokingly wrote on the platform this summer that he would be purchasing the club, with the 51-year-old’s post garnering more than 800,000 likes.
UFC superstar Conor McGregor has also thrown his hat into the ring, having previously expressed an interest in taking over the club.
The 34-year-old took to Twitter following the announcement of the European Super League in April of last year, writing: ‘Hey guys, I’m thinking about buying Manchester United! What do you think?’
Any potential deal would almost certainly become the most costly acquisition of a football club in history, surpassing the £4.25billion fee a consortium led by Todd Boehly paid for Chelsea earlier this year.
One major issue facing whomever buys United is Old Trafford, the club’s iconic stadium. The venue has long needed a revamp to compete with the biggest clubs around the world.
It is understood that rebuilding the stadium will cost approximately £1.5bn, making it the most expensive football ground in the world – ahead of Tottenham’s new £1bn stadium.
United moved into the ground – dubbed ‘The Theatre of Dreams’ by fans around the world – in 1910 and have called it home ever since. The stadium was most recently renovated between 2005 and 2006, with 8,000 seats being added.
Elon Musk (left) and Conor McGregor (right) have previously shown an interest in buying the club
Red Devils legend Gary Neville has backed calls for the stadium to be rebuilt entirely, when stories first emerged of investment into the arena back in February.
He posted on Instagram: ‘There is a story emerging from Old Trafford that they might rebuild the entire stadium and I have just been asked what I think of it. I actually think that it would be the right move.
‘I think by the time that they have spent money on Old Trafford, the existing one, then I think you would be better off building a brand new, better, super stadium. I do think that Manchester United should always be at the forefront of stadiums, have the best facilities and they have fallen behind.’