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U.S businessman Malcolm Glazer has been confirmed as the buyer of a major stake in Manchester United – a deal that has intensifed speculation that he is planning to launch a takeover bid for the club.

However, United chief executive David Gill said the club had not received any takeover approach, telling Sky television: “We have not had an approach and that is the situation. It’s business as usual from our viewpoint.”

Earlier Glazer, who also owns Tampa Bay Buccaneers gridiron team, emerged as the buyer of a big chunk of the club’s shares last week in a deal worth around £31m. Glazer now owns 14.31 percent of United’s stock.

The club confirmed at the weekend it had recently met Glazer in the United States to explain its strategy and financial results.

“We did go to Tampa last week and had a very good meeting with Mr Glazer and two of his sons where we had the opportunity to explain a bit about ourselves, our results and where we saw the club going over the next few years,” Gill said.

“It was a very useful and constructive dialogue. They subsequently indicated to us that they viewed Manchester United as a good investment, full stop. That is the situation.”

United’s other major shareholders include two Irish racehorse magnates, J.P. McManus and John Magnier, who increased their joint stake to more than 23 percent in October. John de Mol, the man behind Endemol TV, is also a significant stakeholder.

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