Graeme Souness claims Sheikh Mansour tried to acquire Liverpool before he
invested into Premier League champions Manchester City.
Amanda Staveley, the financier behind the 2008 purchase of the Eastlands club is said
to have confessed the bid in a Dubai restaurant.
According to Souness, the Emirati-backed bid to buy Liverpool fell apart as Tom Hicks
and George Gillett blocked the sale.
Souness, who won five league titles and three European Cups with the Reds, recalled
on Sky Sports: “I went to Dubai, 12, 13 years ago.
“I walked around the hotel with my wife and my son and went to the Nobu restaurant
which was empty just after lunch.
“On the way out someone came over and introduced themselves, then a lady came
over and she introduced herself as Amanda. ‘I’m a Liverpool supporter,’ she said.
“She said, ‘I tried and I tried but Gillett and Hicks were so difficult to deal with, they
just walked away in the end.”
The American businessmen were hugely unpopular with the Anfield faithful during
their three-and-a-half years in charge of the Reds.
In January 2008, a spat with Rafa Benitez saw their approval ratings plunge even
further and fans protested amid news that Middle Eastern interests were evaluating a
Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum was thought to be behind a move to buy
Liverpool at that stage as well as a year earlier, before Hicks and Gillett came in.
Liverpool was ultimately taken over by Fenway Sports Group in 2010.