Glazer sounds out Irish on Man Utd

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The Independent Online

Malcolm Glazer and his sons, Joel and Avi, have raised the stakes in their bid for Manchester United by making the first call direct to John Magnier, the Irish racing tycoon, who with JP McManus are the Old Trafford club's largest shareholders with 28.9 per cent.

A telephone call was made on Thursday evening by the Glazers, which was returned by Mr Magnier's camp yesterday. The Glazers are keen to agree a price for the stake owned by Mr Magnier and Mr McManus through Cubic Expression, their investment vehicle.

A source close to the Glazer family said: "Discussions are continuing. They have been throughout the week. There have been talks between advisers. Now there are talks between principals."

Cubic Expression confirmed that contact had been made between the two parties yesterday but said it had not led to any proposals and that if the Glazers wanted to continue to talk to Mr Magnier then it was up to them to proceed.

"We see ourselves as long term, value investors.

"That's where it rests at this point," said a source close to the Irish investors.

The Glazer camp will have to mount a full takeover bid for the club but they believe that the price they eventually agree with Cubic Expression, and which will be offered to all the other shareholders, will be snapped up by institutional shareholders. The Glazers are also confident that they can persuade supporters to back them once their plans for the club are public.