In Focus: Southampton close to £190m takeover deal; could finally see their stars stay

According to reports in The Times, Chinese company Lander Sports Development have made a £190m bid to takeover Southampton Football Club.

What’s the story, then?

Well, Saints owner Katharina Liebherr believes that the club needs further financial investment if it is to build on the progress it has made in recent years, and she has been sounding out potential buyers in recent months.

In fact, she rejected a £180m bid from the same company in January, but it is believed that the new offer is closer to her valuation of the club.

What do we know about Lander?

We know that they are a property development organisation and that they have no previous experience of owning or running a football club, even though they have been involved in “leasing, development and distribution of sports.”

Would a takeover by Lander be good for the club?

Despite the fact that she eventually appears to want to sell the club, Katharina Liebherr has its best interests at heart after she took over the ownership following the death of her father Markus in 2010.

Of course, Lander would need to undergo the due diligence process in order to prove that they will be a good fit for the south coast outfit in the future.

The report also suggests that Lander would only have a bit-part role to play at first, before taking full control at a later date, which would please any fans that are concerned about the negative impact that other foreign investors have had in recent times.

Could it also finally mean that their key players stay?

It certainly would.

Saints supporters have often grown despondent during recent summer transfer windows with their key players seeming to leave for the bigger teams in the Premier League, even though they have replaced them well.

This extra investment could change that though, and mean stars such as Virgil van Dijk and Ryan Bertand will choose to stay with a club that can be more ambitious in the transfer market themselves for instance, in order to try and challenge for the European spots.