The Tesla and SpaceX tycoon has a history of joke announcements and claims about his business dealings that do not pan out, so it is unclear how serious he is.
Shares in Manchester United are publicly traded on the stock market, but the American Glazer family reportedly retain a controlling share.
The Glazers bought the storied football team in 2005 in a controversial £790m takeover, largely funded by debt that was loaded onto the club itself.
Since then the team has struggled to match its former sporting glory, and has not won the English Premier League since the 2012-13 season. It is currently at the bottom of the table.
Also, I’m buying Manchester United ur welcome
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 17, 2022
Mr Musk’s tweet, sent at 1am UK time on Wednesday morning, when British executives and PR staff were likely to be asleep, gave no details and was the latest in a long line of irreverent “announcements”.
In 2018, he falsely claimed that he had “funding secured” to take Tesla, his electric car company, off the stock market, which led to him and the firm being fined a total of $40 million by US financial regulators.
However, Manchester United’s total market value of $2.1bn would be unlikely to stretch the purse of Mr Musk, who is estimated to be the richest person on Earth with a fortune of $267bn.