A Chinese investment group are closing in on a £100 million takeover at Aston Villa, according to our sister title, the Sunday People.

Villa could be under new ownership within the next fortnight, the report claims.

Negotiations are said to be entering the final phase, as unwanted owner Randy Lerner looks to hand over control of the relegated club.

Chairman Steve Hollis confirmed in a statement yesterday that talks were progressing.

The Sunday People article says the takeover group have been at the club all week and were present at today’s 0-0 draw with Newcastle United at Villa Park.

The Chinese bidders are a private equity firm who have studied Leicester City’s success.

Nigel Pearson remains the favourite to take over as manager at Villa as they prepare for life in the Championship.

Hollis said: “We are in very constructive negotiations which could lead to the sale of the club to a new owner.

“There has been no shortage of parties who would like to own Aston Villa but our negotiations are now with those parties that we believe will have the passion and ambition to return the club to winning the highest honours in European football.

“The appointment of the manager is at this time inextricably linked to the current negotiations.”

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