Southampton agree takeover deal as Serbian billionaire snaps up Premier League club

Conte comments on decision to rule out Kane goal at Southampton

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Premier League club Southampton are the subject of a potential takeover with a Serbian billionaire to buy the club, according to reports. Dragan Solak, a cable television tycoon, is apparently set to purchase a controlling stake in the Saints. 

Solak, founder of United Group, is understood to be closing in on a £100million deal.

It would see majority shareholder Gao Jisheng sell his 80 per-cent stake in the club, who are 14th in the top-flight. 

According to Sky News, Solak is behind a new holding company that could take on several football clubs across European football.

The model is currently used by the owners of runaway Premier League Manchester City.

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A takeover of Southampton has been long awaited. The Athletic reported earlier this season that a new owner could be in place by the end of December. 

The club has been on the market for 18-24 months but progress stalled due to the pandemic and the threat of a European Super League. 

In April, a group of European clubs announced plans for form a breakaway ESL but most reversed within 48 hours due to strong supporter backlash.

Southampton have languished in the bottom half of the league for the last five years. They last finished in the top half in 2017 – placing eighth. 

That was after a couple of years in which they threatened to establish themselves as one of the best performing clubs outside of the ‘Big Six’. 

The South Coast side are 14th in the table following a mixed first half of the 2021-22 campaign. 

They secured an excellent 1-1 draw with Tottenham during their last outing on December 28. They have lost just one of their last six matches. 

However, they were furious when their clash with Newcastle was postponed due to injuries and positive COVID-19 cases in the opposition’s camp. 

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