EXCLUSIVE

Danny Mills has tipped US big hitters the San Francisco 49ers to eventually take over Leeds United rather than a Gulf state.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former United defender is “sceptical” about Middle-East interest in the Championship giants and claims he’s “heard it all before”.

This comes after reports surfaced last weekend that Qatar is in talks to buy a stake in Leeds in a deal that would allow the gas-rich state to enter English football for the first time.

The club strongly briefed against a possible share sale and Mills believes the investment arm of the San Francisco 49ers, which bought £11m-worth of shares in the club last year, is a far more credible buyer.

“Leeds have had interest from the Middle-East before and it has never materialised,” Mills told Football Insider. “Unless a firm deal was on the table I would be very sceptical. There’s been too many false dawns around potential investors.

“If Leeds start to succeed and get back in the Premier League, I wouldn’t rule out a takeover from the San Francisco 49ers. We know they have the money.

“They know how to run sporting clubs, have commercial nous and knowledge of what it takes to succeed in sports at the highest level.

“Radrizzani will be talking to them before anyone else if he is looking to sell.”

According to Forbes, the San Francisco 49ers are valued at £2.45billion and have an annual revenue of £370million.

They own 25 per cent of Leeds’ shares following the deal agreed with Andrea Radrizzani when he ceded full control of the club this time last year.

In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED that a billionaire-owned club have submitted a multi-million pound bid for a Whites player.