West Ham closer to potential sale

REYKJAVIK - English Premier League club West Ham United have moved a step closer to being put up for sale after signing confidentiality agreements with potential buyers.

West Ham vice president Asgeir Fridgeirsson said on Wednesday that no concrete offers had yet been made for the London club.

Icelandic tycoon Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson led an 85 million pound buyout of West Ham two years ago.

"We have been going over all of Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson's and Hansa's (Gudmundsson's holding company) assets with our consultants and that includes West Ham," Fridgeirsson told Reuters.

"We have signed confidentiality agreements with several parties, which means that we will provide them with the necessary financial information and they undergo not divulging any of this information to a third party. So far we haven't received any concrete offers."

Fridgeirsson declined to say how many interested parties there were, but disclosed it was "a fleeting number".

On Tuesday, lawyers for Hansa valued the club to approximately 250 million pounds in court papers.

However, Fridgeirsson added: "There are many people interested, but this is not about interest but about ability. There is nothing that says that the current market is willing to pay 250 million pounds, nor that this is the figure we are looking for."

Gudmundsson has emerged as a high-profile victim of the global financial crisis.

His family were major shareholders in Icelandic bank Landsbanki, which the Icelandic government took over in October as the country's financial system came close to a collapse.