Manchester United's chief executive Richard Arnold will step down ahead of the club's reported stake sale to British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe.
General counsel and board director Patrick Stewart, who has been with the club for over 17 years, will become interim CEO.
The move comes amid uncertainty about the British football giant's future ownership after the American Glazer family last year said they were looking at options for the 20-times English champions, including a new investment or a potential sale.
Arnold was appointed CEO less than two years ago, when he took over from executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and filled a role that had been left vacant since 2013.
Tasked with reviving the club's fortunes, Arnold in April last year brought in team manager Erik ten Hag, who has also come under intense pressure in recent months because of the club's lacklustre performance on the field.
Reuters reported in October that Ratcliffe would pay more than $US1.5 billion ($A2.3 billion) for a 25 per cent stake in United were his bid for the iconic soccer club to be accepted by the Glazer family that controls it.
The Glazers have not yet reached a deal with Ratcliffe but one is expected to be finalised between the two sides in the coming weeks.
Patrick Stewart's appointment as interim CEO would allow United's new joint owners to identify the right long-term candidate to run the club, Sky News reported, citing one source.
Arnold will provide "transitional support" until the end of December, the club said, and they will start looking for a permanent CEO.
Australian Associated Press
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