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Malaysian prince eyes stake in Manchester United


Kuala Lumpur (AFP) – A Malaysian prince said Friday he is eyeing a stake in English Premier League side Manchester United, just weeks after triggering speculation of a takeover bid for Spanish club Valencia. 

Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim, crown prince of the southern state of Johor, said he was “open to any shares in football in Europe” during a press conference.

He singled out Manchester United, adding that he knew there was an opening to invest in the club by buying a stake of three to five percent.

“Manchester United is a club which will take decades for its commercial value to go down,” the 36-year-old said.

“In terms of sustainability they are superb. So that is why I will try to have a meeting.”

Earlier this month, Tunku Ismail sparked speculation that was interested in buying Valencia with a series of Instagram posts. 

He had said the club needed someone who is “hungry for success”, adding that he was motivated by “creating history”.

On Friday, he said only there was “pros and cons” of investing in Valencia, without going into detail.

Valencia are owned by Peter Lim, a billionaire businessman from Singapore, which neighbours the prince’s southern state across the Straits of Johor.

Tunku Ismail already owns Malaysia’s Johor Darul Ta’zim, who last year won their seventh straight Malaysian league title and inaugurated the 40,000-capacity Sultan Ibraham Stadium.

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