According to reports in the English press Chinese billionaire Kenny Huang is in negotiations to buy Liverpool.
Huang, the chief executive of Chinese sports investment company QSL, is said to have made a bid to the Royal Bank of Scotland, which would leave the current owners, Tom Hicks and George Gillett, leaving the club, but without a profit.
Huang, chairman of the Hong Kong-based QSL Sports Group, has the backing of a wealthy investment fund behind him.
“A deal has to be done before the transfer window closes,” a source close to Huang told the BBC. “Huang has made a firm proposal. The club’s board has to sanction the sale and it could be sewn up in days.”
Hicks and Gillett are said to be looking for £600 million for the club but – following the refinancing deal put in place earlier this year – RBS is able to take control of the sale if it feels it will offer the best chance of repaying its loan. Huang has apparently made a direct offer to repay the £237 million debt.
The current owners, the Americans Tom Hicks and George Gillett, took over little more than three years ago but put the club up for sale in April and appointed Martin Broughton, the British Airways chairman, to oversee any deal.
Hicks and Gillett purchased Liverpool for a reported £219 million in 2007 and, speaking in April, Hicks said: “Liverpool will be the most profitable investment I have ever made. I should make four times my money.”
Liverpool’s Spanish striker, Fernando Torres, was reportedly told to await discussions between the Chinese investor and the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) before deciding on his future.