Billionaire Roy mulls £100m investment in Liverpool

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Liverpool yesterday continued to deny suggestions that new Indian owners are on the horizon, though sources in the subcontinent suggest that Subrata Roy, the billionaire owner of the Sahara group, is considering making a bid for a stake in the club and will decide within the next two weeks whether to join the race to make a £100 million investment.

Sources close to Roy have indicated that he has not made any approach to the Premier League, which would indicate a serious intent, but his representatives have refused to confirm or deny his interest and it is believed that he is examining the viability of a move.

Liverpool managing director Christian Purslow has said that he is hopeful of having secured the £100m investment which the club's bankers have said is a requisite of Tom Hicks and George Gillett's debts being refinanced. The major challenge for him appears to be securing that investment from individuals at a time when the Americans appear unwilling to give up their majority share in Liverpool.

Despite some slippage on Purslow's initial February date for new money, there remains optimism at the club that the "equity raise" will happen and that Royal Bank of Scotland and Wachovia, Liverpool's bankers, will allow Hicks and Gillett to refinance their £237m debt over a longer three- or four-year term this summer and support plans to begin the new ground development, which underpins the financial future of the club.

Financiers in the City of London remain sceptical that Roy, or any bidder, would agree to join Hicks and Gillett as a minority partner.

Barcelona "flatly deny" they have reached an agreement with Cesc Fabregas (below) that would see the Arsenal captain return to the Nou Camp at the end of the season. Reports in Spain suggest Fabregas, who has always said he would love to play for Barça, has come to a verbal agreement with the Catalan giants and will sign a five-year contract in the summer.

However, Barca have released a statement dismissing such reports. It read: "Given the exceptional repercussions created by the stories that have appeared in different media with respect to an agreement with Arsenal FC player Cesc Fabregas, Barca flatly deny that there have been any negotiations or agreements with the player."

Bordeaux's Marouane Chamakh says he has not agreed a deal to move to Arsenal.