A year ago, few European soccer fans had heard of reclusive American businessman Malcolm Glazer. Now he's on the verge of a possible takeover of Manchester United, the world's richest and one of its most storied teams.

In three consecutive trading days, the owner of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers has pushed his stake to 28.11 percent in Manchester United PLC. If his ownership reaches 30 percent, he is required by British law to make an offer to buy out the remaining stockholders.

Attempts to reach Glazer, or his sons Bryan and Joel, yesterday were unsuccessful.

Since Friday, Glazer has spent $108 million to increase his stake in the 126-year-old club from 16.3 percent. Yesterday, he purchased 1.27 million shares for $6.5 million, his banking advisers told the London Stock Exchange. . . .

Pavel Nedved scored as Juventus edged Bayern Munich, 1-0, in the first meeting between the famed clubs, maintaining its perfect record in the Champions League. Michael Owen marked his first Real Madrid start with the winner in a 1-0 victory over Dynamo Kiev. Manchester United surprisingly was held to a scoreless tie at Sparta Prague.

* COLLEGES: Maryland women's basketball coach Brenda Frese signed a two-year extension that extends her contract through 2010. Frese will receive a base salary of $184,540. There is a buyout clause in the contract, should Frese decide to coach at another institution or in the professional ranks. . . .

Virginia Athletic Director Craig Littlepage will take over as the chair of the prestigious NCAA Division I men's basketball committee in 2005-06, succeeding Iowa AD Bob Bowlsby. Littlepage is in his third year on the committee. . . .

Connecticut freshman guard A.J. Price has been released from the hospital two weeks after being admitted with a brain hemorrhage. Price slowly has improved since being airlifted to Hartford Hospital on Oct. 4.

* OLYMPICS: U.S. gymnast Paul Hamm will find out tomorrow whether he can keep his gold medal. Hamm won the all-around title in Athens, but South Korea's Yang Tae Young wants the Court of Arbitration for Sport to change the results and move him from third place to first because of a scoring error.

* HOCKEY: The Buffalo Sabres will lay off about 25 employees by the end of November if there is no resolution to the month-old NHL labor dispute.

-- From News Services

and Staff Reports