LONDON - English Premier League side Liverpool FC have held talks with two consortiums in the Middle East, according to reports in the UK media.

Liverpool’s owners, Fenway Sports Group, have been approached by consortiums from Saudi Arabia and Qatar, reports the Mail On Sunday.

Although Liverpool FC and fellow EPL club Man Utd have been repeatedly linked with state-backed investors, it is said the consortiums are both private companies.

Saudi Arabia backs private Liverpool bids

Saudi Arabia’s sports minister says the Kingdom would support any bids from companies in the private sector looking to buy Man Utd or Liverpool.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Faisal, said that the government would support any bid for the crown jewel football acquisitions from the private sector.

“If there’s an investor willing to do so and the numbers add up, why not?”

“We will definitely support it if any [Saudi] private sector comes in, because we know that’s going to reflect positively on sports within the kingdom.

“It’s the most-watched league in Saudi and the region and you have a lot of fans of the Premier League,” he said. “From the private sector, I can’t speak on their behalf, but there is a lot of interest and appetite and there’s a lot of passion about football.

Fenway Sports Group Holdings LLC said that it is working with Goldman Sachs Group and Morgan Stanley as it gauges buyer interest for the club, the people said, asking not to be identified.

“FSG has said before that under the right terms and conditions we would consider new shareholders if it was in the best interests of Liverpool as a club,” the group said in a statement.

The Middle East is already home to several football club owners.

Newcastle United FC was purchased by Saudi Arabia’s giant Public Investment Fund in 2021. Manchester City FC is owned by Abu Dhabi’s City Football Group, purchased in 2008, while Qatar Sports Investments bought Paris Saint-Germain FC in 2011.

The prices for buying football clubs have only continued to increase. In May, Chelsea was sold for $4.9 billion, but some analysts have already predicted that Liverpool could fetch an even higher price.

“The sale of Liverpool could reach in excess of $5 billion, with the club generating over $160 million from its sponsorship deals for the 2022-23 season alone,” said Conrad Wiacek, head of sport analysis at GlobalData.

Investors from Saudi Arabia and Dubai have also been strongly linked with a purchase of Man Utd.