Man Utd have started talks in Australia over the acquisition of A-League side Central Coast Mariners, according to reports.
The Red Devils already have links with FC Twente in Holland and Fluminense in Brazil.
The owners are now looking at growing their global brand by starting a ‘sister club’ in Oceania.
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Man Utd have held lengthy discussions with Central Coast Mariners over a deal.
The Premier League giants are hoping to rescue the cash-strapped A-League side and relocate them to Sydney.
That would see the Mariners leave their current home of Gosford for the country’s most populated city.
They would also be rebranded, but it’s not yet clear whether this would be similar to the Man Utd name.
Mariners officials are said to be excited about the prospect of being owned by Man Utd.
It’s hoped that the investment would bring more money and interest to the A-League from around the world.
Man Utd already have links with the Australian team, too. Mike Phelan juggles his time as United’s assistant coach and the Mariners’ sporting director.
The report states that United are aiming to follow in the footsteps of rivals Man City by buying clubs abroad.
City acquired Melbourne Heart in 2014 and quickly renamed it Melbourne City, incorporating the team into their City Football Group global network.
Melbourne’s top flight side was bought for less than $14million, which is little when compared with the Premier League’s wealth.
A deal between Man Utd and Central Coast Mariners is therefore expected as the Red Devils can easily afford the purchase.
Despite their lack of funds, Central Coast Mariners are currently top of the A-League after 16 games. They’re ahead of title rivals Melbourne City and Sydney FC.
They’ve won the league twice since they were founded, once in 2007/08 and again 2011/12.
Meanwhile, Man Utd sit second in the Premier League after 31 matches. They’re seven points ahead of third-placed Leicester but 11 points behind league leaders City.
United’s next game is against Granada in the Europa League quarter-finals. They’re in a good position to reach the semi-finals after winning the opening leg 2-0.