A Chinese multi-millionaire has held takeover talks with Liverpool.
The Independent says no offer has been tabled yet but Zhu Jun, 44, the founder chairman and chief executive of The9 Ltd - one of China's leading online gaming firms - is described by local sources as "sincerely interested" in the club.
When Zhu's gaming firm floated on America's Nasdaq stock exchange in 2004, Zhu pocketed around £60m and his personal fortune has expanded considerably since. Zhu has a long-term active interest in football and is the chairman and majority owner of Shanghai Shenhua of the Chinese Super League.
An informed source in Shanghai says Zhu has already had two exploratory meetings about buying Liverpool with Barclays Capital (BarCap), the global investment bank. BarCap was hired by the club's new chairman, Martin Broughton, to find a buyer after the owners, Tom Hicks and George Gillett, formally put the club on the market last month.