COLONEL GADDAFI was within hours of buying a majority stake in Manchester United, according to the man who brokered the deal for the Glazer’s to takeover the club.
Mehmet Dalman, now chairman of Cardiff City, revealed he was summoned to Libya by private jet in 2004 to discuss the purchase of John Magnier and JP McManus’ 29.9 per cent shareholding.
The Irish tycoons fell out with former United boss Sir Alex Ferguson over the ownership of racehorse Rock of Gibraltar and asked Dalman to help flog their shares.
Dalman told the Sunday Times: “People don’t realise how the (takeover) deal was a whisker away from going to Libya.
“Gaddafi almost bought the club. That’s how close it got – literally, you’re talking about a few hours.”
The former Libyan dictator, who was overthrown and killed in 2011, went on to purchase Italian club Perugia after the two parties failed to agree on a price for the controlling stake in the Red Devils.
Son Saadi Gaddafi revealed more details of the potential deal in a 2005.
He told the Financial Times: “Seven or eight months ago we were about to buy shares in Manchester United.
“We kept it secret because I thought we were going to do it. But now it’s impossible.
“I told my father it would be like buying the Church of England.
“It’s very hard, maybe impossible because of the fans and the history, very difficult.
“It’s a golden, golden, golden, golden club.”
The stake was eventually bought by the Glazer family who completed a full takeover at Old Trafford and controversially loaded the club with hundreds of millions in debt.