Everton could be the latest Barclays Premier League club to take on American investors in a £200million deal, according to a newspaper report.
The Times claims John Jay Moores and Charles Noell have signed a head of terms agreement and are studying the club's accounts ahead of a possible takeover that could be completed within six weeks.
American duo Moores and Noell have shown interest in a top-flight outfit before when they came close to acquiring a stake in Swansea earlier this year, only for a deal that would have seen them acquire a 30 per cent portion in the South Wales club collapse late on.
Moores is a former owner of Major League Baseball's San Diego Padres while Baltimore-based Noell co-founded JMI Equity in the early 1990s.
Everton chairman Bill Kenwright, 70, has been searching for new investment in a bid to try to keep up with the country's biggest spending teams in Manchester and London, who have been able to challenge for major honours and enjoy Champions League wealth season after season.
Despite being unable to find the type of funding that could close the gap between the Toffees and those richer clubs, it is understood that interest in Everton from various parties has never been keener and there is optimism that fresh investment could finally arrive at Goodison Park.
In their 'Fab Four' of John Stones, Ross Barkley, Gerard Deulofeu and Romelu Lukaku - all 22 or under - Everton possess some of the country's hottest young prospects and they displayed a resolute attitude on Stones when Chelsea attempted to prise him away from Merseyside on multiple occasions over the summer.
That quartet, alongside the club's history and fan base, would make them an attractive proposition for would-be investors, who might have to consider building a new stadium to create additional revenue.
The capacity of Goodison Park is only 40,000 and former Toffees midfielder Peter Reid believes a new home would allow them to bridge the gap between the clubs frequently in the title mix.
"It's my club and Goodison Park - as much as I love it - I think Everton need a new football ground," he told BBC Radio 5 Live.
"We've got a great squad of players and a good manager but we need to get a new stadium to keep pace with the other clubs in this Premier League. You need the revenue that generates. If Bill Kenwright says it's okay - yes, let's get it done."
Multiple Premier League clubs, including cross-city rivals Liverpool, have an American presence in their boardroom, and last week Crystal Palace announced Josh Harris and David Blitzer had acquired a large stake in the Eagles which will include a £50million package to develop their ground.
An Everton spokesperson said the club would not comment on the takeover story when contacted by Press Association Sport.