Southampton manager Claude Puel said on Wednesday he was in the dark about reported takeover talks between the Premier League club and Chinese company Lander Sports Development.
“I have no idea about the situation,” Puel, who took over from Ronald Koeman in June on a three-year contract, told reporters ahead of Southampton’s home Europa League match against Chinese-owned Inter Milan on Thursday.
“I give all my confidence to the president and the people at the club to do things in a good way.”
There was no comment from Southampton on the Bloomberg report that Lander was in exclusive talks with the south coast club.
The agency quoted unnamed ‘people familiar with the situation’ as saying Swiss owner Katharina Liebherr had been engaged in the talks for several weeks and the price could be as much as 200 million pounds ($245.72 million).
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Chinese buyers have become increasingly involved in English soccer, with investment group Yunyi Guokai (Shanghai) Sports Development Ltd completing a takeover of Premier League West Bromwich Albion in September.
Second tier Aston Villa, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Birmingham City are all in Chinese ownership.
Hong Kong-listed GreaterChina Professional Services Ltd, an asset advisory and advertising services firm, said at a news conference in Hong Kong on Wednesday that it had a non-exclusive memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Premier League Hull City.