Kop sale: Syrians are closing in on Liverpool FC takeover
The consortium fronted by Yahya Kirdi, the Syrian businessman, last night appeared to move into pole position as the race to buy Liverpool gained momentum.
As the Merseyside club revealed it wanted at least two firm offers on the table by the end of the week, sources close to the group of investors from the Middle East and Canada, who are interested in buying out George Gillett and Tom Hicks, said an initial takeover deal could be signed by the time Liverpool launch their campaign against Arsenal on Sunday.
All parties, including Kirdi's group, Gillett and Hicks, and the Premier League, which now has tougher rules regarding the fit and proper person test, are ready to gather before the weekend.
The consortium, which has agreed to pay off all of Liverpool's debts to The Royal Bank of Scotland and Wells Fargo, hopes that a first contract will be signed at the weekend. In addition, the group is believed to be ready to fund the planned construction of a new stadium in Stanley Park.
The development came as Indian conglomerate Sahara Group, one of the parties expressing an interest in buying Liverpool, cooled their interest, while Chinese tycoon Kenny Huang has also made enquiries.
Martin Broughton, chairman of the Liverpool, wants interested parties to prove they have the funds to buy the club, and is eager to have two or three detailed offers on the table by the end of this week.