Portsmouth are on the brink of a South African takeover.

The Times says Greg James, the chief executive of Central Rand Gold, is the man leading a £70 million takeover bid that will cast immediate doubts over the future of Tony Adams as manager.

James has held a series of discussions with Alexandre Gaydamak, the Portsmouth owner, in the past week and is understood to be confident of striking an agreement to buy the club from Devondale Investments, the holding company. He is being assisted in negotiations by Pini Zahavi, the influential Israeli agent, who knows both men well and may be retained in a consultancy role if the bid is successful.

The bid, which includes provisions for writing off the club's debts, reported to be £32 million, is understood to be progressing well, although Gaydamak has still to receive guarantees over certain elements of the offer.

"He's a very serious, very rich man and he wants to buy a football club," a source said of James. "Portsmouth fits the bill and things look very positive."