Manchester United owners the Glazers nearly sold the club to new Newcastle owner Mohammad Bin Salman back in 2018.
The Toon are now governed by one of the richest people in the world. Yet he could easily have taken charge of the Red Devils instead after holding talks over a massive deal.
Manchester United have been ruled by the Glazers ever since 2005.
They initially experienced success during their reign, with the club winning five Premier League titles as well as the Champions League crown during Sir Alex Ferguson’s time in charge.
But, as United have struggled ever since the Scot’s retirement, so too have the club’s American owners.
Not financially, at least. The Glazers are now richer than ever before with United’s value rising by the year.
Yet, amongst fans, their popularity is at an all time low.
The European Super League debacle earlier in the year saw to that, with supporters venting their fury over the Glazers’ plans for a breakaway league.
They apologised for their actions and have vowed to communicate better in future, in apparent signs of repent.
And, in 2018, that very nearly happened.
The Americans held talks with new Newcastle owner Bin Salman about a possible takeover, with the Saudi Arabian prince interested at the time.
And the Evening Standard reported last year that the Glazers were prepared to cash in should they receive an offer in the region of £4billion to £5bn.
It’s claimed that sources familiar with the Saudis’ interest believe an arrangement could have been struck at the time.
But now, three years after that takeover nearly happened, and United are still very much ruled by the Glazers.
They’ve long insisted they have no plans or desire to sell up.
And they showed they’re commitment back in the summer transfer window by financing three huge deals.
Jadon Sancho was signed from Borussia Dortmund, with his £73million fee making him the fourth most-expensive signing in the club’s history.
Raphael Varane then followed, touching down from Real Madrid.
And, on transfer deadline day, United brokered a sensational deal that saw Cristiano Ronaldo return to Old Trafford.
Though the Glazers are adamant United aren’t for sale, football finance expert Kieran Maguire thinks they may now be tempted to change their stance.
“This is estate planning,” he told Football Insider when reacting to the news of the Americans recently putting shares on the market.
“Even if they sold all of their A shares that are listed on the NYSE, they would still have over 90 per cent of the shares.
“This is cash flow management and tax planning from the Glazers, I believe.
“There’s a case for saying that, on the back of the failure of Super League and Big Picture, that Man United have reached their peak.
“There isn’t a huge amount of room for them to move up into, in terms of the stock market.
“Maybe they are now using that money to look at other investments.”