Report: Chinese consortium closes in on Villa takeover

Aston Villa are on the verge of being taken over, according to reports.

According to The Express, a Chinese consortium has moved one step closer to their £75 million takeover of Aston Villa.

Owner Randy Lerner, who bought the club in 2006, put it up for sale two years ago but the American businessman has struggled to offload the West Midlands side.

Lerner wanted £200 million for the club, having bought it for £62.6 million (Birmingham Mail), but a miserable 10-year stint, which has finally resulted in Premier League relegation this past season, has seen its value decrease.

However, The Express claim that a Far-East group are on the verge of agreeing a £75 million deal in principle to buy the Villans, with the report going on to claim that former Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo - a Champions League winner in 2012 - is their preferred option for manager.

Former Leicester City boss Nigel Pearson is also in the frame after Villa's board identified him as their first choice, according to the report.

Villa, at the moment, have no manager, with Eric Black taking charge of the team's final 13 games following the sacking of Remi Garde, who had only replaced Tim Sherwood in November.

Getting a manager in as soon as possible is key for their promotion hopes next term, but such a task is tricky while the club remains up for sale, but if this deal goes through then Villa fans might finally be allowed to close an erratic, decade-long chapter.

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch