Southampton could become the latest English club to come under Chinese ownership after they were linked with a £200m takeover by Lander Sports Development.
Saints owner Katharina Liebherr has met with Lander, according to Bloomberg, although an agreement has yet to be completed.
Formerly called Lander Real Estate, the property development specialists changed their name last year after repositioning towards sports. The company has a market value worth £1.5bn but suffered a loss equivalent to £27.6m last year.
In April Lander set up a fund with a Beijing-based fund management firm of up to £120m for the purpose of sporting investments.
A flurry of Chinese investment into European football has coincided with President Xi Jinping’s decision to make football a strategic priority as part of plans to build a sporting economy worth £602bn.
The Saints would be the fifth club from England’s top two tiers to be bought by a Chinese firm this year following deals for Aston Villa, West Bromwich Albion, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Birmingham City.
Premier League club Hull City are also in the sights of a Chinese consortium led by the Hong Kong-based Greater China Professional Services Ltd, who are currently seeking investment to fund a proposed £130m deal.
Executive director David Yip held a press conference in Hong Kong today described the club as a “solid EPL club with great potential and huge room for development”.
Southampton have been contacted for comment.