China Everbright Ltd, part of the state-owned China Everbright Group, has confirmed that it is not in talks to buy a stake in Liverpool.

Chief Executive Chen Shuang said he called several executives at different sectors of Everbright that might be involved in mergers and acquisitions and found no one was working on any such deal.

“I really don’t know where the media sources come from. I called everyone who might be involved and found no one was aware of this deal,” he said at a news briefing.

The Financial Times reported Liverpool’s owners had appointed an investment bank to advise on a possible sale to a consortium that included Everbright.

The club’s owners, Fenway Sports Group, have always insisted they were not interested in selling, but the club’s chairman Tom Werner said earlier this month that the board would welcome outside investment.

“At the same time we’ve been clear that we actively pursue commercial opportunities which in turn helps us invest in the squad and win football matches,” he said.

“These commercial discussions can be complex and we’ve said in the past, under the right conditions and absolutely with the right partner, we could look at some small investment stake in the club.

“But only in the framework of doing what would be in the club’s long-term best interests. I want to reiterate that the club is not for sale.”