Southampton strike £100m takeover deal with Serbian businessman

Southampton are close to welcoming a new owner to the south coast after agreeing a £100m deal with Serbian-born businessman Dragan Solak.

Majority shareholder Gao Jisheng is understood to have sold his 80 per cent stake in the club to Solak, who founded United Group, with the two parties having entered negotiations over a possible deal last month.

Sky News reports that former Brentford co-director of football Rasmus Ankersen, and Henrik Kraft, a London-based investor, are also involved in the takeover, which will end the tenure of Jisheng, who bought his controlling share in Southampton back in 2017.

Southampton are currently 14th in the Premier League table, sitting comfortably clear of the relegation zone while struggling to find any real consistency with results, and are currently in their tenth consecutive season in the top flight.

The takeover follows a spate of recent investments into Premier League clubs, following deals involving West Ham and Newcastle.

High-flying West Ham, who currently sit just outside the Premier League's top four, welcomed a significant cash injection from Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky in November - a deal that includes the option of a full takeover in the future and values the club at close to £700m.

Newcastle, meanwhile, were the subject of a full takeover from Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, and are now preparing to significantly strengthen their squad in the January transfer window in an attempt to steer clear of relegation trouble.

Source : 90min