(WFI) Syrian businessman Yahya Kirdi claims to be on the verge of buying Liverpool, as Chinese tycoon Kenny Huang disputes reports saying he has made a formal bid.

Kirdi, a former Syrian international footballer who represents a group of investors from Canada and the Middle East, said today in a statement that he was close to reaching agreement with Liverpool’s owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks.

“Agreement has been reached on all major terms including the purchase price, repayment of the existing bank debt from RBS [Royal Bank of Scotland] and Wells Fargo and financing of a new stadium in Liverpool’s Stanley Park,” Kirdi said in a statement.

“A formal purchase agreement between the parties is in the final stage of negotiation.”

Hicks and Gillett have valued the club at between £600 and 800 million ($952m to $1.3bn) and may only be persuaded to sell if they can get that figure.

In his statement, Kirdi vowed to provide funds for new Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson to strengthen his squad if his bid is successful.

“Liverpool is a massive football club with passionate and proud fans in Merseyside and in every part of the world,” he said in the statement.

“With additional money to improve the squad and financing in place to build the new stadium, LFC will be on a solid foundation to compete in England’s Premier League and in Europe for years to come.”

Kirdi’s entry into the bidding race for Liverpool follows a reported takeover bid by Chinese businessman Kenny Huang publicised on Tuesday.

But the chairman of Hong Kong-based investment company QSL Sports today moved to clarify his interest in the club.

A statement released by his Hong Kong representatives said: “Mr. Huang would like to emphasize that he has registered interest in investing in Liverpool FC but has made no formal bid.”

Yesterday, Huang appeared to indicate that he had made a $518 million takeover bid in an effort to seize control of the club from Gillett and Hicks before the transfer window closes on Aug. 31. It was thought that Huang was preparing to pay off the club’s £237 million ($376m) debt to RBS as part of his takeover attempt.

Liverpool’s non -executive chairman Martin Broughton, who was brought in earlier this year to oversee the sale of the club, said on Tuesday that he hoped a deal could be done by the end of the month.

The club’s current owners, who bought Liverpool from the Moores family in 2007, have received a number of offers since announcing they planned to sell the club in April.

By INSIDER editor

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