Whelan, the owner of Wigan Athletic and sponsor of Super League, has sent an offer to shareholders that will cost him more than pounds 2m if accepted. If not, he has warned, he will pull the rug from under a club which is more than pounds 2m in debt.
"I've made it clear in the offer that if the shareholders accept then I will strive to take the club back up to where it was an where it should be," he said. "But I've also made it clear that if they do not want to sell the shares then I will walk away."
The matter will be debated at the club's AGM on 7 March.
The converted second-rower Darren Fleary is the surprise choice at prop for Leeds' Silk Cut Challenge Cup tie against Castleford on Saturday. He is preferred to Barrie McDermott, who is being eased back after a broken leg.