Eggert Magnusson is set to make a formal £75m bid for West Ham United by Friday, with the Premiership club's directors likely to recommend the offer, if satisfactory, at the beginning of next week.
The Icelandic businessman, who is heading a consortium, yesterday met the West Ham manager, Alan Pardew, to outline his plans. Magnusson, who will appoint himself chairman, is committed to keeping Pardew if the takeover goes through.
At the same time, representatives of the Brazilian club Flamengo hope to meet Kia Joorabchian - the man who had fronted a rival bid for West Ham that appears to have collapsed - later today to try to take Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano on loan for the rest of the season. The Brazilians believe the Argentinian pair might be keen to move back to South America for a few months, and play in the Copa Libertadores, before returning to Europe next summer with a new club.
Joorabchian, who is understood to effectively control the players even though they signed permanent contracts at Upton Park, would also not want them to stay at West Ham if he was not involved. He has already had talks with Tevez.
Magnusson's advisers, meanwhile, are close to completing the process of due diligence and are thought to be happy with what they have discovered so far. "It's all going very smoothly," one source close to the deal said.
West Ham now believe that Magnusson's offer is likely to succeed, especially after he reconstituted the members of his consortium and refinanced the deal with a greater proportion of the buy-out being funded with equity rather than debt. His main backer is Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson, the head of Iceland's oldest bank, Landsbanki.
Magnusson, who is also a Uefa executive committee member, will resign his position as head of Iceland's football association if he takes over at West Ham.
Magnusson, whose consortium will also take on the club's debts of £22.5m, saw his initial efforts rebuffed by Brown and the club's managing director, Paul Aldridge, who appeared to want the Joorabchian bid, which was to be funded by Israeli property magnate Eli Papoushado, to succeed.Reuse content