MANCHESTER, England, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- Tampa Bay Buccaneers owner Malcolm Glazer has instructed a German bank to look into the feasibility of purchasing England's Manchester United soccer team.
Glazer has asked Commerzbank to look at financing options and possible bid structures, just a day after John Magnier and J.P. McManus, the Irish millionaires who are the largest shareholders in Manchester United, lifted their stake in the club to 29 percent.
The Financial Times said Glazer's representatives have been in informal contact with members of the Manchester United board, but have fallen short of detailing their bid plans.
Sources said Glazer's representatives had also made informal overtures to Alex Ferguson, the club's demonized manager, as his support is seen as crucial to winning over the club's fans.
But the stake held by Magnier and McManus could enable them to thwart Glazer's bid ambitions, the newspaper said.
It remains possible no offer will materialize. In the past, the appearance of Glazer on a company's share register has lifted the share price on expectations of a bid. But as the price rose and a deal became more expensive, Glazer historically decided to sell out.