South Americans want Chelsea stake

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The Independent Football

Chelsea are close to sealing a £25m deal with a group of South American businessmen, believed to be from Venezuela, who want to buy a stake in the club.

The club's chairman Ken Bates has been approached about the badly-needed injection of revenue and talks are at an advanced stage with the surprise bidders. The Stamford Bridge side, currently around £90m in debt, are open to offers to help them sort out their current problems - caused mainly by huge salaries for their players.

The deal is shrouded in secrecy, but has been going on for a few weeks, with a London-based firm setting up the links between the club and would-be financiers. Bates does not want to give up control, but the new backers would want a say in the affairs of the club and its commercials arms in particular.

Tottenham Hotspur, looking to rejuvenate their squad after a poor finish last season, said negotiations to sign the 20-year-old Porto striker Helder Postiga were at an advanced stage, with reports indicating that Porto's top scorer last season, was in London for a medical.

Teddy Sheringham's future was still surrounded in mystery today after his agent refused to confirm he was joining Portsmouth from Spurs.

The First Division champions released a statement saying they had agreed terms with the former England striker, who has been released by Tottenham, and that he would be signing a contract next week. However, Barry Nevill, who represents Sheringham, refused to confirm his player was joining Portsmouth.

Harry Kewell's agent expects a decision to be made on the Australian's future by the start of next week. Manchester United, Arsenal and Barcelona have all been linked with a move for Kewell while Leeds would like him to extend his contract. His agent Bernie Mandic expects a decision to be made soon. He told the BBC Sport website: "I stand by what I have said all along, and that is that I expect Harry's future to be sorted out by the end of the month."

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