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American investors close in on Sunderland takeover

Sunderland are hopeful of concluding a deal with American investors who are looking to stage a takeover.

Glenn Fuhrman, John Phelan and Robert Platek, principals at New York-based MSD Partners LP, are attempting to buy a controlling stake in the club.

The news has generated excitement on Wearside, with MSD responsible for managing the capital of computer entrepreneur Michael Dell and his family.

Dell, the founder of Dell Technologies, is ranked as one of the richest people in the world by Forbes, with a net fortune of around £28.6billion.

However, the PA news agency understands Dell would be a passive minority investor in support of his long-standing business partners.

Fuhrman and Phelan have worked together at MSD for 21 years, while Platek joined the company 17 years ago.

If a sale does go through, current chairman Stewart Donald, who has a 74 per cent stake in the club, and executive director Charlie Methven, who controls a further six per cent, would continue to play significant roles at the Stadium of Light. Uruguayan businessman Juan Sartori owns the remaining 20 per cent

Donald has been actively seeking inward investment at the club he bought from Ellis Short for £40million last summer.

Talks have been held with a series of potential buyers but, to date, none have managed to strike a deal.

The Black Cats are currently attempting to fight their way out of Sky Bet League One after missing out on promotion in the play-off final last season following back-to-back relegations.