Qatar in talks to buy Leeds United: Report
The Qatari group that owns French champions Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) is bidding to buy a controlling stake in English Championship club Leeds United, according to a Financial Times report on Saturday.
The British daily reported that "people with direct knowledge of the negotiations" revealed state-backed Qatar Sports Investments has been in talks the past few months with the club's Italian owner, Andrea Radrizzani, about buying the second-tier club.
"Qatar Sports Investments will be entering English Football, and Leeds is the club of their choice," the FT reported one person close to the talks as saying. "Qatar has been looking into the prospects of entering English Football for the past two years."
The gas-rich Gulf state has, like Manchester City owner Abu Dhabi, projected its power through football, and controversially won the right to host the 2022 World Cup despite what is usually a summer tournament having to be moved to November-December to avoid matches being played in scorching desert temperatures, AFP said.
Leeds United is holding talks with at least six investors, including the Qatar group, according to the report. Qatar Sports Investments and Leeds United did not return calls for comment on the report, Reuters said.
The Qatari group has also invested heavily in PSG and brought a host of stars to the French capital, including the world's most expensive player, Neymar, as it bids - so far unsuccessfully - to make the Ligue 1 champions the kings of Europe.
The FT reported that talks had been on hold as Radrizzani waited to see how Leeds fared in their push for promotion to the Premier League under maverick manager Marcelo Bielsa.
They have restarted after Leeds were dramatically dumped out of the playoffs by Derby County earlier this month.