Leeds chairman Andrea Radrizzani has finally come clean on rumours that Paris Saint-Germain’s owners Qatar Sports Investments (QSI) are planning a takeover over the promotion-chasing Yorkshire club.
Rumours of QSI’s interest in Leeds first emerged last May, not long after the club missed out on promotion to the Premier League following their play-off semi-final defeat to Derby.
Radrizzani and Al-Khelaifi are close associates but the message from Leeds, at the time, was that the club, at this time, is not for sale.
However, the rumours refused to go away and QSI continue to be linked with the club, with a report revealing two big reasons why they were so attracted to the ambitious Yorkshire side in the first place.
However, Radrizzani has refused to give the rumours much credition until now – with the Leeds owner finally admitting that talks had been held and that there is a possibility of QSI investing in the club.
“These are rumours that have been ongoing for more than a year now. What is true is that we have a great relationship on a personal level,” he told Gianluca Di Marzio.
“There’s a desire to do something together maybe even in football but there’s nothing concrete at this time
“In the last few weeks everything took a back seat. My desire to have a great Leeds that is a protagonist in the Premier League and to do so we will need partners on top of the San Francisco 49ers, we’ll evaluate this when we are in that league”
Leeds are seven points clear of third-placed Fulham with just nine games to go, prior to the halting of all elite level football and Marcelo Bielsa’s side will hope to get the chance to finish off what they started.
And there is little doubting the infux of wealth provided by QSI would push Leeds back into the realms of major players in the British game, with their money transforming not just PSG, but the shape of the world transfer market.
Radrizzani currently owns 85% of Leeds, with a reported 11 per cent stake sold to 49ers Enterprises – owners of the San Francisco 49ers – last year, while a small portion of minor shareholders have the remaining 4%.
But the funding from QSI – although bound by FFP and not likely to guarantee to give Leeds an unlimited cash windfall – will provide the club with a significant boost. They are funded by the oil-rich state of Qatar, completed their takeover of French champions PSG in 2011 and have transformed them into one of the world’s wealthiest clubs.
PSG signed Neymar from Barcelona for a world record £200million fee in 2017 and Kylian Mbappe has since joined from Monaco for £166m.