Report: Manchester United looks to buy Australian team

SYDNEY — Manchester United is reported to be interested in joining its English Premier League city rival and become a team owner in Australia’s A-League.

Nine newspapers reported Tuesday that Manchester United officials were in discussions with Central Coast Mariners owner Mike Charlesworth, who has been seeking a buyer for the cash-strapped club for the past year.

Nine said the English club would likely move the team now based at Gosford, about 90 kilometers (55 miles) north of Sydney, to Sydney’s northern beaches. Matches would be played at either North Sydney Oval or Brookvale Oval in Manly, the report says.

Football Australia has been asked for comment and plans to respond later Tuesday. Any sale hinges on support from a majority of A-League clubs, and Football Australia also has to ratify a deal.

Manchester City took a controlling stake in the A-League’s then-Melbourne Heart in 2014. It changed the team’s name to Melbourne City and also the A-League club’s colors.

Manchester United is owned by the American Glazer family which has owned the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers since 1995.

More AP soccer: and