Everton have struck an exclusive deal with New York-based firm MSP Sports Capital to invest in the club, according to BBC Sport.
A deal has not yet been finalized, but the parties are in talks over future funding, the sources said.
MSP appears to be ahead of 777 Partners, which has been in talks to buy it from owner Farhad Moshiri.
Everton are currently two points above the relegation zone in the Premier League with one game remaining in the season.
However, the Toffees will drop to third-bottom if Leicester City beat Newcastle on Monday (20:00 BST).
MSP is believed to be looking for a 25 per cent stake with a preferred share structure, rather than an equity stake in the club, and will therefore be repaid with interest.
777 people have access to the ‘data room’ (financial accounts) but are not ready to pay a ‘significant’ price as they look at the debt on their balance sheet – a figure that hit £141.7m in 2017 latest account.
In February, Moshiri told Fan Advisory Council The club is “not for sale” but he has been speaking to “really high quality top investors”.
The club will need to finance their new stadium, which is being built at Bramley Moore Dock, after Increased costs From an initial £500 million to around £760 million.
British-Iranian businessman Moshiri has invested more than £750m of his own money since 2016, but some supporters are deeply unhappy with his ownership of the club.
Toffees fans staged protests ahead of some of this season’s home games and called on Moshiri and the board to leave the club.
It is understood MSP may expect representation on the board if they do complete a minority investment in the club.
An exclusivity agreement is described as a document in which a potential buyer and seller agree to deal solely with each other in anticipation of the exchange of contracts by the end of a fixed period.
In this case, it protects the MSP from being outbid by another party, but it does not fully protect what happens outside the specified time period.
Who are MSPs?
MSP Sports Capital describes itself as an investor in sports teams, leagues and businesses “pursuing ambitious and challenging missions.”
Their current portfolio includes European clubs such as Brondby in Denmark, Augsburg in Germany and Estoril in Portugal.
Their chairman, Iranian-American billionaire Jam Najafi, is vice-chairman of McLaren and a minority owner of the NBA team, the Phoenix Suns.
He played in January’s loss to Southampton at Goodison Park and has an estimated net worth of £2.9bn. paddock magazine 2021.
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