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Manchester United negotiating to buy Central Coast Mariners - report

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Premier League giants Manchester United are in discussions to buy the licence of the Central Coast Mariners with the intention of moving them, according to a report.

Manchester United could follow in the footsteps of local rivals Manchester City by buying an A-League club, with United having "held lengthy discussions with Mariners owner Mike Charlesworth," according to The Sydney Morning Herald. 

If United are successful in taking over the 2013 A-League champions, then it is said that they would be keen to move the club away from the Central Coast to Sydney's northern suburbs, with matches to be played at either North Sydney or Brookvale Oval. 

The sale would be subject to the approval of Football Australia, who are said to be supportive of the idea. 

Their is already an established connection between the two clubs, with current United assistant coach Mike Phelan previously Central Coast's Sporting Director. 

Mariners owner Charlesworth has been looking to sell the club for over a year, and until this season the club had been struggling both on and off the field. 

This season, however, The Mariners are top of the A-League table after 16 matches, however their financial issues still remain. 

Should the takeover succeed, it would follow on from Manchester City purchasing 80% of Melbourne Heart in 2014 for more than $11 million. Heart changed both its name and team colours to replicate that of the other clubs in the City Football group. 

Source SBS The World Game