“We are pleased to confirm that Mr Milan Mandaric and Mr Mammadov met in London on Friday evening to discuss the takeover process and both parties confirmed their commitment to complete the sale as soon as practical.”
Mandaric, who will stay on as chairman, remains optimistic the deal will be completed.
“I fully appreciate the frustration of our supporters, we all want to see a quick completion so we are in the best shape possible for the start of the new season,” he said.
“Despite the delay, I am still committed to fully supporting (manager) Stuart (Gray) in his preparations and this has been demonstrated by the permanent signings of Keiren Westwood and Sam Hutchinson along with the contract extensions agreed with Chris Kirkland, Glenn Loovens and Jose Semedo.
“I have been kept fully informed by Mr Mammadov’s advisors during the process and Friday’s meeting was very constructive. I continue to believe that he will be a wonderful custodian for this great club and I am very excited at his plans for the future.”
As soon as the takeover has been finalised, Gray hopes to sign “three or four” quality players to bolster his threadbare squad. He is set to make a final decision today on trialist Dejan Kelhar, who started for the second successive match in yesterday’s pre-season friendly at Doncaster Rovers. It finished two apiece after second-half goals by Marc De Val and Kyle Bennett cancelled out Atdhe Nuhiu and Michail Antonio’s strikes either side of half-time.
Gray said: “I thought we became a bit sloppy after we went two nil up and overcomplicated things. We gave away far too many free kicks in and around our 18 yard box and we got punished for the equaliser. We conceded two goals in a game where we dominated possession and should have seen the game out.”
Caolan Lavery will be assessed after suffering a knee injury while Jose Semedo was left out because of a muscle problem. Like Semedo, Keiren Westwood (knee) did not feature and is a doubt ahead of their warm-up match with Newcastle on Wednesday.