Liverpool takeover: Boston Celtics co-owner new favourite as Erling Haaland transfer question rears head

Maria Menounos, Stephen Pagliuca at arrivals for 2018 NBA Awards, Barker Hangar, Santa Monica, CA

There is a new favourite in the race to become the new owners of Liverpool FC – with prospective new incumbent Stephen Pagliuca boasting assets worth £112bn more than Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour.

Liverpool’s owners Fenway Sports Group shocked the footballing world on Monday by putting the club up for sale. They have been the helm at Anfield since an October 2010 takeover which cost them £300m. Now, after overseeing one of the most successful periods in the club’s history, they are looking to cash in.

Under their regime, Liverpool have ended their 30-year wait to become English champions. They have also reached three Champions League final, winning the trophy in 2019.

And in that time, they have spent £1.254bn on transfers.

Some reports claim they are seeking around £4bn to sell the club – and despite the lofty asking price, there are likely to be no shortage of buyers.

The takeover talk has also raised question marks about Jurgen Klopp’s future on Merseyside. Having signed a new deal earlier this year, he was already under some scrutiny in the wake of some inconsistent results this season.

However, the German has answered those emphatically following Wednesday’s penalty shootout win over Derby in the Carabao Cup.

A number of names have since been linked with the club since FSG’s shock announcement.

Red Bird Capital Partners, who invested £540m into the club in 2021, are among those being linked. Basketball star Lebron James is a main financer of the group.

However, they are not the favourites with the Daily Star reporting that Pagliuca’s group, Bain Capital, are now the frontrunners.

Stephen Pagliuca linked with Liverpool takeover

Pagliuca and his company are reportedly worth a staggering £119bn. To put into context, Man City’s owner Sheikh Mansour is worth around £17bn.

Nonetheless, that fades into insignificance compared to the £320bn that Newcastle’s PIF owners are worth.

However, that takeover would give Liverpool serious wealth and make them major players in the world transfer markets. And unlike Newcastle, they would have more wriggle room in terms of FFP regulations.

Pagliuca is famous for being the co-owner of the Boston Celtics, NBA side. He is a private equity investor and the co-chairman of Bain.

The 67-year-old also owns 55% of Italian side Atalanta.

Perhaps most famously, though, Pagliuca is famous as the man who turned fast food behemoth Burger King back into profitabilty.

Anbd he is reportedly the man that FSG are most open to selling their controlling interest to. Current owner John W Henry knows Pagliuca well and is now seemingly the leading contender to take charge.

Erling Haaland transfer question comes into focus for Liverpool

Pagliuca is known for not being shy at spending cash to bring in elite sporting stars at the club’s he ows. To that end, he will be seen as an exciting new fit for Liverpool.

As a result, speculation has already looked at potential targets he could move for. Kylian Mbappe – so often linked with Liverpool but seen as out of their reach – is one such name to re-emerge on the radar amid claims he’s unsettled at PSG.

However, Erling Haaland is also once again being linked with a blockbuster move to Liverpool.

The Norwegian has admitted that Liverpool were among the clubs he considered joining over the summer, only for a move to City to come to fruition instead.

Indeed, a recent report claims it was Liverpool who opted to pull out of the summer deal once the finances came to light.

Haaland had a relatively-modest £51m exit clause in his Dortmund contract. For that reason, it was a deal Liverpool strongly linked into.

However, the total cost of the deal will have cost Liverpool £300m, Football Insider reports. And once adding up wages, signing on bonuses, performance-related payments, agents’ fees, Liverpool decided the total package for Haaland was beyond what they were willing to pay.

Liverpool’s loss has since been Manchester City’s gain. However, Liverpool’s potential takeover by Pagliuca could see a significant shift in the future.

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