Everton are in discussions with American investors over a £200million ($300m) takeover attempt, according to a newspaper report.
The Times report claims John Jay Moores and Charles Noell have signed a head of terms agreement for a deal and are studying the club’s accounts ahead of a possible takeover within six weeks.
Moores and Noell were close to investing in fellow Barclays Premier League side Swansea earlier this year, but a deal that would have seen them acquire a 30 per cent stake in the South Wales club collapsed at the final minute.
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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.
Toffees chairman Bill Kenwright has been keen on bringing in fresh investment to Merseyside for a number of years as Roberto Martinez’s side look to keep up with some of the country’s biggest spenders.
Some Everton supporters have been critical of the current regime over a perceived lack of investment in the playing squad, while Martinez is determined to keep the likes of in-form trio John Stones, Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku from leaving Goodison Park in favor of more lucrative deals elsewhere.
Last week Crystal Palace announced Josh Harris and David Blitzer, who also own franchises in the NBA and NHL, had acquired a large stake of the Eagles, while the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool and Aston Villa also have American backers on their boards.
An Everton spokesman said the club would make no comment on the takeover story when contacted by Press Association Sport.
Former Toffees midfielder Peter Reid believes Everton need a new home if they are to compete with the likes of the two Manchester clubs, Arsenal and Chelsea in challenging for major honours every year.
The capacity of Goodison Park is only 40,000 and Reid insists he would be behind any potential takeover if Kenwright found buyers willing to build a new stadium.
"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."