Magnusson meets Brown over £75m West Ham deal

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The Independent Football

Eggert Magnusson will today meet the West Ham United chairman, Terry Brown to begin the process of tabling his £75m offer for the Premiership club. The Icelandic businessman remains confident that a deal will be agreed in the next few days.

Magnusson flew into London yesterday and last night attended the Champions' League game at Stamford Bridge between Chelsea and Barcelona. As well as being the chairman of the Icelandic Football Association, the 57-year-old is also a well-respected Uefa committee member.

There is also the possibility that Brown, who controls 40 per cent of the club's shares, will meet Kia Joorabchian, another potential bidder for the club and the man who brought Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano to Upton Park. But there were suggestions last night that NM Rothschild, the bank which has been asked to help to finance the bid by the Israeli property magnate Eli Papoushado, had decided not to proceed.

If true, that would leave the way clear for Magnusson, who has now finalised, following further discussions with his advisers, how he will finance the deal and exactly what he is prepared to pay for West Ham. He is hoping that he will be granted access to the club's books so the process of due diligence can begin.

Magnusson remains sanguine about West Ham's recent run of poor form - with six straight defeats - although some of his advisers believe that it is critical a deal is agreed quickly, otherwise it will prove too risky to acquire a club in relegation trouble. They will not let the issue drag for too much longer.

The consortium, which will fund its offer with a mix of cash and debt and have the backing of a wealthy Icelandic banker, is also fully behind the manager, Alan Pardew, and does not have any plans to replace him.

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