Sunderland are remaining tight-lipped over claims that owner Stewart Donald has agreed to sell the League One club.
Officials were not commenting on Friday afternoon on a report that a consortium led by minority shareholder Juan Sartori and Kyril Louis-Dreyfus, the son of former Marseille owner Robert, has agreed a deal which would see Donald retain a 15 per cent stake at the Stadium of Light.
The former Eastleigh owner had been trying to offload the club he bought in 2018 since the beginning of the year amid anger from supporters over his stewardship, and entered a period of exclusivity with a prospective buyer during the summer.
Uruguayan businessman Sartori already has a 20 per cent stake and has reportedly enlisted 22-year-old Louis-Dreyfus as a majority partner with former director Charlie Methven set to retain his five per cent holding.
A planned meeting with supporters’ groups on Thursday was cancelled amid speculation that a sale was in the offing.
Donald bought the Black Cats from American tycoon Ellis Short for around £40million following their relegation from the Sky Bet Championship at the end of the 2017-18 season a year after they had dropped out of the Premier League.
However, hopes of a swift return to the second tier were dashed by a play-off final defeat at the hands of Charlton in May 2019, and the club sat in seventh place in the table when the last campaign came to a premature conclusion as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, slipping further when a points-per-game system was applied.
Sunderland, who entertain MK Dons on Saturday, currently lie sixth, four points behind leaders Peterborough with a game in hand.