Sunday, April 5, 2009

Kuwaitis to Buy Liverpool from the Yanks

LIVERPOOL are edging closer to a £450 million Middle East take-over which would give manager Rafa Benitez more spending power in the transfer market.

Sunday Express Sport can reveal that negotiations between American co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett to sell all richest families are at an advanced stage.

It’s understood that despite denials, Nasser Al Kharafi, the 49th richest man in the world worth £9 billion is closing in on a deal to become the new owner of the club.

His nephew Rafed Al Kharafi, who has attended recent Liverpool games as a guest of the club, is confident of striking a deal in the coming weeks.

What has not been finalised is what percentage of the club the Kuwaitis will end up with.

While Gillett has given an indication that he will sell all of his holding for the right price, Hicks would like to still be involved and could end up with 25 per cent of the club.

The two Americans, who are facing a July deadline to refinance a £350million loan which secured their ownership of th club, now value Liverpool at £500m.

They know that without a huge cash injection the planned new stadium would have to remain on the back burner and manager Benitez would be restricted in the transfer market.

Looking on is Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, a member of the Dubai ruling family who has been keen on purchasing Liverpool in the past.

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