Southampton are set to become the latest English football club to be snapped up by Chinese investors after they agreed a deal with stadium construction company Lander Sports Development.
Lander announced to the Shenzhen stock exchange on Thursday that it had signed an agreement with Southampton owner Katarina Liebherr to buy a stake in the Premier League club.
It did not disclose the size of the stake or the price, but Liebherr indicated in a statement released by Southampton that she would remain at the club if the deal was completed.
Confirmation of Lander’s investment came the morning after Southampton beat Liverpool in the EFL Cup semi-finals to put them one win away from a first major trophy for 41 years.
“The Premier League is increasingly competitive; we need to keep moving forward and look to new markets for commercial growth, innovation and to share our journey,” Liebherr said.
“Together we have had many years of progression and success, and ensuring this continues is the main focus of any possible partnership.”
Referring to the EFL Cup final, she added: “I hope you enjoy what will be a brilliant day for our club and look forward to a successful future together.”
Lander could be set to pay up to £200m for control of Southampton, Bloomberg has reported.
The highest-profile Chinese investment into English football came in 2015 when Manchester City’s Abu Dhabi-based owners sold a minority stake to China Media Capital.
West Bromwich Albion, Aston Villa, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Birmingham City are all majority-owned by Chinese groups.