The ruling Sheikh of Dubai is to take a more hands-on approach to secure ownership of Liverpool Football Club, the Daily Post understands.

Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum is believed to be taking a close personal interest in the attempt to persuade American co-owner Tom Hicks to sell up.

If Sheikh Mohammed did manage to buy the club it would be the first time a Premier League club were fully owned by a sovereign state.

Co-owner George Gillett has already agreed to sell his share.

The Sheikh's involvement represents a shift from investing via Dubai International Capital (DIC), which is owned by the mid-east emirate.

The shift away from using DIC as an investment vehicle is understood to surround the need for the private equity group to make large returns.