West Ham United are the subject of takeover interest from Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky, according to multiple reports.
Kretinsky, who co-owns Sparta Prague and holds major stakes in the Royal Mail and Sainsbury’s, is said to be close to buying a 27 per cent stake in the Premier League club.
The deal, first reported by The Athletic, would value West Ham at £600m-£700m, so would therefore be worth an initial £160m-£190m.
Kretinksy, 46, also owns Central Europe’s largest energy group, Energeticky a prumyslovy, and is worth an estimated $4bn (£2.9bn), according to Forbes.
Negotiations have included an option to take full control of the club at a later date, according to Sky News.
His investment would strengthen the team’s Czech connections. Midfielder Tomas Soucek and defender Vladimir Coufal are both regulars for the national team.
West Ham have been owned by David Sullivan and David Gold since 2010, when the former Birmingham City bosses bought the east London club out of financial distress.
The Hammers have since been through a turbulent decade involving a move from their old Upton Park ground to the repurposed Olympic Stadium.
But they have enjoyed a return to form in then last 18 months under manager David Moyes, who led them into the Europa League and currently has them fourth in the English top flight.
West Ham have been contacted for comment.