Czech billionaire, Daniel Kretinsky, is in ‘advanced talks’ to buy a 27 percent stake in West Ham.
The Hammers have been on the market for ‘at least a year’ – at a valuation of around £700million.
Nasib Piriyev’s PAI Capital made two bids in the summer but failed to meet the club’s asking price.
But according to Sky News, talks have now reached an ‘advanced stage’ with Kretinsky.
The businessman, 46, has been chairman of Sparta Prague since 2004 – and has a number of other investments.
Known as ‘The Sphinx’, Kretinsky has built up a remarkable portfolio which includes a 49 percent stake in French newspaper Le Monde – as well as Foot Locker and Macy’s.
The Athletic report that he has also invested heavily in the Royal Mail, which he owns a 15 per cent stake in – as well as Sainsbury’s, where he holds ten percent.
A shrewd investor and lawyer by trade, Kretinsky is valued by Forbes at nearly £3billio
After buying an initial 27 per cent in West Ham, his plan is believed to be taking a majority stake in future.
Kretinsky’s arrival would possibly mark the beginning of the end of David Sullivan, David Gold and Karren Brady’s ownership of the club.
The trio have been in control of the Hammers since 2010.
Talks have reportedly been taking place for months.
A sticking point is believed to be a clause in the club’s London Stadium agreement with the London Legacy Development Corporation.
The Athletic add that if sold before March 2023, West Ham’s current owners must pay 20 per cent of any profit over £300m made on the club back to London’s taxpayers.
West Ham received good news yesterday, when they were granted planning permission to expand the London Stadium by 2,500 seats, to a capacity of 62,500.
The ultimate plan is to eventually raise that number to the ground’s full capacity of 67,000.
Following this positive step, David Moyes’ side were able to knock holders Manchester City out of the League Cup on penalties after a dogged performance in front of a full house.
After the match, Pep Guardiola hailed ‘fantastic’ Hammers boss Moyes.