Manchester United’s owners have released a statement announcing they are “exploring strategic alternatives” for the club, which includes potentially selling it.

The Glazers’ 17-year reign at Old Trafford has been up-and-down to say the least, delivering arguably far more more lows than highs.

Lack of funding, an ageing stadium and poor performances on the pitch has resulted in mounting pressure from the die-hard fanbase, calling for the Americans to pack their bags and move on.

Avram and Joel Glazer at Old Trafford. (Image Credit: Alamy)Now it seems they’ve gotten what they wished for with the billionaire business family penning an open letter to the Manchester United faithful explaining their plans for the future.

“The strength of Manchester United rests on the passion and loyalty of our global community of 1.1 billion fans and followers,” the Glazers said in the statement.

“As we seek to continue building on the Club’s history of success, the Board has authorized a thorough evaluation of strategic alternatives.

“We will evaluate all options to ensure that we best serve our fans and that Manchester United maximizes the significant growth opportunities available to the Club today and in the future. Throughout this process we will remain fully focused on serving the best interests of our fans, shareholders, and various stakeholders.”

The statement concludes by revealing that Raine Group will be the Glazers’ financial advisor with Latham & Watkins LLP acting as their legal counsel.

Raine Group was the consortium which helped Roman Abramovich sell Chelsea earlier this year.

The Glazers’ statement comes just a matter of hours after it was announced that Cristiano Ronaldo would “leave Manchester United by mutual agreement, with immediate effect”.

Ronaldo has left United by mutual consent (Image: Alamy)If a sale does go ahead, it’s likely it’ll take some time to go through.

That said, there will undoubtedly be plenty of potential suitors interested in getting their hands on one of the biggest sports teams on the planet.

British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe has been just one of the names linked to the club.

In terms of its actual value, the company was worth US$2.5 billion at the close of the American Stock Exchange on Tuesday evening.