Significant investment pumped into Aston Villa

Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce acknowledges the supporters following the Pre-season friendly between AFC Telford United and Aston Villa at New Bucks Head Stadium

Tony Xia is believed to be close to selling his majority share in Villa, as he looks to solves the club's financial problems.

The assistant to Aston Villa owner Dr Tony Xia has commented amid speculation the club is about to be sold to a consortium from the Middle East.

The deal has been ratified by the English Football League and comes after Villa, who were relegated from the top flight in 2016, lost to Fulham in the Championship play-off final in May.

Xia purchased the club for £76m in 2016 with promotion his immediate aim, but failure to get back into the Premier League in the past two seasons has taken its toll on Villa's finances, with the gamble backfiring to nearly fatal effect. The club missed a £4m payment to HMRC and have relied on Xia to cover financial shortfalls, which reached a reported £40m.

Mr Sawiris, whose wealth is estimated at $6.9 billion according to the Bloomberg's Billionaires Index, has several high-profile investments including in German shoemaker Adidas, cement firm LafargeHolcim and nitrogen-fertilizer company OCI NV, which he runs. We have a common goal of delivering future success for Aston Villa and I look forward to working together to achieve this aim.

Former player and TV commentator Thierry Henry lookson prior to kickoff during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final first leg match between FC Barcelona and FC Bayern Muenchen at Camp Nou
Aston Villa On The Verge Of Middle-Eastern Takeover [Report]

The 57-year-old is on a rolling contract at Villa Park and Villa's new investors could want to make a change in the manager's seat and bring in their own man to take the club forward.

Former England captain John Terry departed at the end of last season, while British media have linked midfielder Jack Grealish with move to Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur.

Sawiris and Edens said: "As lifelong football fans, we are excited and privileged to have become part of this great club".

The Fiver: sign up and get our daily football email. Aston Villa was acquired by Xia from USA businessman Randy Lerner in May 2016.

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