Southampton are reportedly in talks with American business owner Joseph DaGrosa over a £200m takeover of the club.
According to a report from the Daily Mail, DaGrosa has entered in a period of exclusive negotiations with those at St Mary’s and could take control of the club from current majority shareholder Gao Jisheng.
The move comes about with DaGrosa trying to take advantage of a fall in the value of both football clubs and players, and his funds could provide Saints with a significant amount of money to spend in the transfer market.
The American was previously a stakeholder in French Ligue 1 club Bordeaux and expressed an interest in buying Newcastle United last year. He is also reportedly in talks with another Premier League club alongside Saints.
More information from talkSPORT’s Alex Crook suggests that another buyer has confirmed their interest in investing in Saints if DaGrosa’s move does not come off.
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Current Saints majority shareholder Gao Jisheng is often criticised by fans for not investing more of his own fortune at St Mary’s and it appears that his time at the club may be coming to an end.
Given that Saints’ previous club sponsor LD Sports were unable to see out more than one year of their three-year agreement and that Chinese TV companies are withdrawing their investment in TV rights due to political tensions, it is fair to suggest that this could affect him too.
Gao paid £210m to take 80% of the club back in 2017, whilst Katharina Liebherr still owns 20% after inheriting control of the club from her late father Markus.
Saints have been coy on talks of a sale in the recent past but CEO Martin Semmens has consistently welcomed the idea of extra investment and that could be close if these reports are to be proven accurate.
The Coronavirus pandemic has caused financial strains for clubs like Saints and they were forced to take out a sizeable loan back in July with MSD UK Holdings Ltd – the holding company of Dell Technologies founder Michael Dell.