Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman does not intend to buy Manchester United, the kingdom's government has said.
It did, however, confirm its sovereign wealth fund held sponsorship talks with English football's most successful team.
New York-listed United have been valued at about $4 billion ($A5.6 billion) and British newspaper The Sun reported Prince Mohammad was stepping up a takeover bid over the weekend.
The crown prince was at the centre of a global outcry last year over the death of writer Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
That put United's already-close links with the Saudi government under scrutiny.
Speculation has grown about Saudi interest in United since the club signed a "strategic partnership" with the kingdom's General Sports Authority in 2017.
But Saudi media minister Turki Al-Shabanah has distanced the country from a takeover of one of the biggest brands in sports.
"Reports claiming that HRH the Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman intends on buying (at)ManUtd are completely false," Al-Shabanah tweeted from a verified account.
United are owned by the Glazer family, who also own the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Glazers bought United in 2005 and maintained control after floating part of the record 20-time English champions on the New York Stock Exchange in 2012.
Al-Shabanah tweeted that United held a meeting with Saudi's sovereign wealth fund "to discuss sponsorship opportunity. No deal has been materialised."
The club did not comment on the reports about takeover interest from Saudi Arabia before the minister's denial.
The Glazers have turned United into one of the biggest money-making machines in soccer, with the club last week projecting revenue for the financial year of between $794 million ($A1.11 billion) and $813 million ($A1.14 billion).