Sheik Khaled Bin Zayed Al Nehayan, an Emirati member of the family who govern Abu Dhabi, approached representatives of Liverpool’s owners over the course of several months in late 2017 and into early 2018.
He then made a £2bn offer that would have constituted the most expensive takeover in the history of football.
Sheik Khaled, although he does not possess the immense wealth of City’s billionaire owner Sheik Mansour, is one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the Gulf states.
Midhat Kidwai, the managing director of Sheik Khaled’s conglomerate of companies, also met Liverpool chairman Tom Werner in New York.
Sportsmail accessed documents outlining the buyout that would have been a joint venture between Sheik Khaled and a minority stake Chinese partner.
The £2bn valuation, which preceded Liverpool’s run to the Champions League final and recent transfer outlay on goalkeeper Alisson and defender Virgil van Dijk, would have broken the record for a buyout of a football club.
Manchester United, listed on the New York Stock Exchange, are valued at £3.1bn and Stan Kroenke’s buyout of Arsenal recently took the club’s overall estimated valuation to around £1.8bn.
Liverpool insisted on Thursday night that discussions eventually failed and added that although Werner met Kidwai in New York, the deal never reached the stage where major shareholders John W Henry or Michael Gordon met the Abu Dhabi investors.
It is, however, clear that Liverpool’s owners, Fenway Sports Group, are actively seeking investment to transform the club into a superpower capable of rivalling the world’s richest both commercially and in the transfer market.
FSG have instructed the American firm Allen & Co to attract investment and the company’s managing director Stephen D Greenberg entered into prolonged talks with Sheik Khaled as the Abu Dhabi investor pursued a takeover of the club.
One email from Greenberg extended an invitation for the Sheik’s representatives to meet in New York.
The proposal suggested by the Sheik to Greenberg states that a ‘£2bn valuation’ was agreed for ‘100 per cent of the club’.
Sportsmail has also seen a further document between Bin Zayed International — the Sheik’s firm — and Alternative Advisors, a Swiss hedge fund where Sheik Khaled sought help to raise £750m from investors.