Barcelona coach Xavi has claimed that a Qatar takeover at Manchester United led by Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani would be a ‘very good option’ for the Premier League side.

Xavi made the assertion ahead of his Barça team playing at Old Trafford on Thursday night, citing his own experience of living in Qatar and a personal relationship with the Sheikh, who is chairman of one of the Gulf state’s largest banks and son of a former prime minister.

The Qatar bid is one of only two to be publicly confirmed ahead of last Friday’s soft deadline set by Raine, the investment bank overseeing the process. The other is from petrochemicals firm INEOS, the company founded and majority-owned by Manchester-born billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe.