The richest man in China Wang Jianlin is said to be preparing a £175 million takeover of the club, an offer current owner Katharina Liebherr would surely accept after her father purchased the club for £15 back in 2009 according to the Sunday Mirror.

Boss of the $19 billion Dalian Wanda group with a personal fortune of half that amount Wang is said to be ready to break into football and add Southampton to his vast portfolio of businesses.

With negotiations under way it could also see the return of former managing director Nicola Cortese to oversee what would be the richest club in the Premiership.