Aston Villa chairman Steve Hollis has confirmed takeover talks are progressing for the relegated club.
Hollis also revealed Villa's search for a new manager was closely linked to the negotiations.
Villa will drop out of the Barclays Premier League for the first time in their history having won just three times this season.
Owner Randy Lerner officially put the club on the market in May 2014 but had been trying to sell for months before that, having bought them in 2006.
Hollis said in a statement: "We are in very constructive negotiations which could lead to the sale of the club to a new owner.
"There has been no shortage of parties who would like to own Aston Villa but our negotiations are now with those parties that we believe will have the passion and ambition to return the club to winning the highest honours in European football.
"The appointment of the manager is at this time inextricably linked to the current negotiations."
Ex-Leicester boss Nigel Pearson is favourite for the job with Villa understood to be in talks with three groups over a sale.
Villa host Newcastle on Saturday in their final home game of the season and stated the squad will not hold a lap of appreciation at the end of the match.
Home fans have been protesting against the running of the club and have turned on their own players in recent weeks with Brad Guzan, Micah Richards, Joleon Lescott and Leandro Bacuna targeted.
A statement added: " Throughout a bitterly disappointing campaign our supporters have been the one positive and the Club would like to thank them all for their tremendous support."