Everton have refused to comment on reports they are in discussions with American investors over a £200million takeover attempt.
The Times claims John Jay Moores and Charles Noell have signed a head of terms agreement for a deal and are studying the club’s accounts ahead of a possible takeover within six weeks.
Moores and Noell were close to investing in fellow Premier League side Swansea City earlier this year, but a deal that would have seen them acquire a 30 per cent stake in the South Wales club collapsed at the final minute.
Moores is a former owner of Major League Baseball’s San Diego Padres, while Baltimore-based Noell co-founded JMI Equity in the early 1990s.
Toffees chairman Bill Kenwright has been keen on bringing in fresh investment to Merseyside for a number of years as Roberto Martinez’s side look to keep up with some of the country’s biggest spenders.
Some Everton supporters have been critical of the current regime over a perceived lack of investment in the playing squad, while Martinez is determined to keep the likes of in-form trio John Stones, Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku from leaving Goodison Park in favour of more lucrative deals elsewhere.
Last week Crystal Palace announced Josh Harris and David Blitzer, who also own franchises in the NBA and NHL, had acquired a large stake of the Eagles, while the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal and Aston Villa also have American backers on their boards.
An Everton spokesman said the club would make no comment on the takeover story when contacted on Wednesday.