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Sun 22 May 2016 08:44 AM

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Dubai Holding denies rumours over French football club purchase

State-owned holding company says no plan to bid for Ligue 1 giant Olympic Marseille

Dubai Holding denies rumours over French football club purchase
Marseilles French midfielder Florian Thauvin runs with the ball during the French L1 football match between Olympique de Marseille and Saint-Etienne at Velodrome Stadium in Marseille, southern France. (BERTRAND LANGLOIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Dubai Holding has denied an interest in buying French football club Olympic Marseille after speculation that the state-owned company was considering buying a stake in the Ligue 1 giant.

In April, the French team’s majority owner, businesswoman Margarita Louis-Dreyfus, put the club up for sale, saying she would sell Marseille to the best long-term investor.

"The price is not my first concern. However, the capacity of the new shareholder to build a team capable of winning at the highest level is essential," she said in a statement obtained by BFM TV. The club's management confirmed the contents of the statement.

A source close to the club, whose sale has been rumoured in the past, told Reuters that several offers had been made.

Speculation in the French online press had centered around Dubai Holding, but that was denied on Friday.

“Dubai Holding denied some reports appearing on social media & online that it intends to buy Olympique de Marseille FC,” the Dubai Media Office said in a tweet.

Marseille, one of the giants of French football, have had a difficult season, finishing 13th in Ligue 1.

The club also lost out to rivals Paris St-Germain in the final of the French cup on Saturday.

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