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Lerner: Villa takeover talks 'productive'

Lerner announced his intention to sever his ties with the Premier League club in May, provided he received an acceptable offer.

The American owner has been so far unable to broker a deal, but on Monday stated he had been encouraged by the progress that has been made.

Lerner added that he will be making no further comment on a potential takeover until a sale has been agreed, as he is concerned that speculation could affect Villa's preparation for the new season.

"This statement is intended to provide clarity regarding the status of the sale announcement I made in early May," said Lerner.

"Over the last eight weeks we conducted a targeted process during which we explored the sale of the club.

"In advance of this process however, I committed to our manager to become completely focused on the upcoming season should there be no agreement to sell by the time players and coaches return to training.

"Given that no agreement has as of yet been reached, I feel that it is time now to turn my full attention back to Villa matters at hand.

"While the sale process has been productive and remains ongoing, my priority at this point in the summer, heading into the upcoming season, is that the Villa organisation’s sole focus be football - undistracted by any sales process.

"Reverting to common practice, I do not intend to comment further on a potential sale or related rumours unless and until I have reached a definitive agreement to sell, at which time I will be prompt and clear."