Sheffield Wednesday owner Milan Mandaric admits a Chinese consortium fronted by Sammy Yu could be poised to rekindle their takeover interest in the Championship club.
Former Birmingham City vice-chairman Yu held talks with Mandaric over the possibility of buying Owls last summer but nothing came to fruition from their discussions.
However, a delegation of a dozen or more Chinese businessmen, including Yu, watched Wednesday slide to a 4-1 defeat at home to Watford on Saturday.
While Mandaric remains in dialogue with Yu, he has stressed no deal is close to being finalised. He told The Star: “Sammy has been to Hillsborough six or seven times this season. He’s a football man. He’s a good friend.
“He likes and is interested, of course, in our club. There maybe, potentially, some relationship going forward but I’m not even sure what kind of relationship.
“If somebody comes forward and has good possibilities to take over from me, then I will be very happy to report or discuss that.
“But there is nothing tangible and I don’t want to confuse my supporters like other clubs have done. I want to protect my supporters from speculation and that’s what I’m trying to do.”
Mandaric, who took over Wednesday in 2010, has reiterated his desire to “one day” sell up.
He added: “One day it will happen but I’m not desperate or under pressure and I want to do the right thing. That’s probably why it [a takeover] hasn’t happened yet.”
Goals either side of half-time by Watford’s Gabriele Angella, Lewis McGugan and Troy Deeney (2) sentenced Wednesday to a heavy home defeat on Saturday.
Head coach Stuart Gray missed the fixture because he attended his son’s wedding, an agreement which was put in place when he joined the club as first-team coach under former Wednesday manager Dave Jones back in December 2012.
Mandaric said: “I don’t think that (being without Gray) helped but at the same time I respect Stuart’s situation and we have to honour that.”
He joked: “I hope he had a good day but on the other side we didn’t!”
The Wednesday chief was disappointed with their showing and has challenged the team to recover immediately, starting at his old club Leicester City on Friday.
“We have got to get back to winning and look to finish as high as possible,” he said. “The Watford performance was not acceptable at all. We have to bounce back.”