By ANDREW HAIGH
FOOTBALL’S silly season has offered up a new contender for most insane rumour of the summer.
Reports in Iran suggest radical Iranians Ansar Hezbollah want to buy Manchester United.
The group — backers of hard-line Iran president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — even plan to rename the footie giants after a holy Muslim oasis.
Ansar Hezbollah’s secretary general, Mohammad Bagher Kharrazi, said: “Once we’ve bought Manchester United we’ll change its name to Khaybar.”
Khaybar is near the Muslim holy city of Medina in Saudi Arabia and it is the site where Jewish inhabitants were defeated by the Prophet Mohammed’s followers in 629 AD.
Manchester United fans were furious at the takeover by the American Glazer family in May 2005.
But the latest report has been met with a smile.
Colin Hendrie, vice chair of the Independent Manchester United Supporters’ Association, joked: “This is exactly why we have a fit and proper person’s test in the Premier League!
“As always, United fans would be against anyone who doesn’t have the best interests of the club in their heart.
“That includes anyone who just wants to make money or a political point.”
Naturally, a spokesman for Manchester United was quick to dismiss the rumours.