Aston Villa chairman Steve Hollis revealed on Friday that takeover talks are progressing for the relegated Premier League club.
Villa’s first relegation to the second tier for 29 years was confirmed in April and finding a replacement for much-maligned owner Randy Lerner is an essential part of the rebuilding process.
United States-based businessman Lerner officially put Villa on the market in May 2014, but his unsuccessful 10-year reign has dragged on as a buyer has been impossible to find.
That could be about to change according to Hollis, who also hopes Villa will have a new manager installed once the takeover negotiations are close to completion.
Former Leicester boss Nigel Pearson is favourite for the job, with Villa understood to be in talks with three groups over a sale.
“We are in very constructive negotiations which could lead to the sale of the club to a new owner,” Hollis said in a statement.
“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.”
Villa have won just three league matches all season, sacking managers Tim Sherwood and Remi Garde, and have decided not to stage the traditional lap of honour after their final home game of the season against Newcastle on Saturday.
Supporters have been protesting against the running of the club and have turned on their own players in recent weeks with Brad Guzan, Micah Richards, Joleon Lescott and Leandro Bacuna all targeted for abuse.