Shaken in the Messi affair at PSG, Qatar would be heading for a failure to take over Manchester United.
Regardless of the apologies made by Lionel Messi, the image was quite striking. Paid like a prince by Qatar, via the QSI fund, for two seasons, the Argentine star of Paris Saint-Germain has proclaimed his commercial happiness to be associated with Saudi Arabia.
Contractually bound as the Middle Eastern giant’s tourism ambassador, Messi was able to provoke the anger, after his trip to Riyadh, of his employer whose rivalry with Saudi Arabia is no secret. The two states were still in diplomatic conflict until recently.
By recruiting Cristiano Ronaldo at the beginning of the year, via the Al-Nassr club, the Saudi championship wanted to show that he too could attract stars. Obviously, this does not have the same impact as the Messi-Neymar-Mbappé trio at PSG, but that is not bad for the image.
Everyone is also talking about the spectacular offer that Al-Hilal would have made, estimated between 500 and 600 million euros per year… On Tuesday, a Saudi source confided to theAFP that the deal was done. A few hours later, Lionel Messi’s father denied any agreement with anyone.
We also risk commenting on the failure of Qatar in its mission to acquire Manchester United. Thursday, The Sun indicates a fondness of the Glazer family, owners of the Red Devils, for the project of Jim Ratcliffe, the British billionaire (Ineos) at the expense of Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani.
The president of Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) wants to buy the entire club. Ratcliffe would be satisfied with 50% of the shares before a total takeover in three years, specifies the English media.
The formula proposed by the majority shareholder of OGC Nice would suit the Glazer brothers. Not really to Manchester United supporters who no longer want American bosses.