The Courier-Mail

United eye off Mariners

- MATT LOGUE & RUSSELL GOULD

CENTRAL Coast Mariners have distanced themselves from reports that a Manchester United takeover could see the A-League outfit moved to Sydney if the sale is approved by Football Australia.

Reports surfaced on Tuesday of a push from United, owned by the Glazer family, to purchase the Mariners, with talks believed to be under way in London with Central Coast owner Mike Charleswor­th.

Charleswor­th has been looking to sell the club for more than a year. The Mariners are top of the A-League table after 16 matches but still carry a large financial burden that United could take on.

It would be a deal similar to Manchester City purchasing 80 per cent of Melbourne Heart in 2014 for more than $11 million when the name and colours were changed to replicate that of the other clubs in the City Football Group.

However, Central Coast CEO Shaun Mielekamp insists the club isn’t set to join forces with United but club officials have spoken to a host of interested franchises

“Speculatio­n is nothing more than speculatio­n … it is just noise,” Mielekamp said.

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