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Huang denies making Liverpool bid as rival Kirdi claims deal is close

American co-owners George Gillett, left,and Tom Hicks put Liverpool up for sale in April.
American co-owners George Gillett, left,and Tom Hicks put Liverpool up for sale in April.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Chinese businessman Kenneth Huang denies reports that he wants to buy Liverpool
  • Huang issues statement saying he has registered interest in investing in English club
  • Syrian businessman Yahya Kirdi claims his group of investors have agreed a price
  • English club Blackburn targeted by Indian businessman Ahasan Ali Syed

(CNN) -- The saga surrounding the sale of British football club Liverpool took more twists on Wednesday as one reported bidder distanced himself from a full-blown takeover and another emerged saying that a deal is almost done.

Chinese businessman Kenneth Huang issued a statement confirming that he had registered interest in investing in the 18-time English champions, but that he had made no formal bid.

That came after Syrian businessman Yahya Kirdi claimed that his group of investors from the Middle East and Canada have agreed a price and are negotiating a formal purchase agreement.

Liverpool chairman Martin Broughton claims there have been "several" bids for the club, which was put up for sale in April by American co-owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks.

Mr. Huang would like to emphasize that he has registered interest in investing in Liverpool FC but has made no formal bid
--Kenneth Huang statement
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The pair took control of the club three years ago but have endured widespread protests against their ownership due to the amount of debt they loaded onto the club.

Accounts published in June 2009 revealed the club's debts were $462 million and that they had paid $54 million of interest payments to the Royal Bank of Scotland, to service an estimated debt to the bank of around $377 million.

Huang said that reports about his involvement were largely speculation.

"Mr. Huang would like to emphasize that he has registered interest in investing in Liverpool FC but has made no formal bid," his statement read.

"There has been much speculation and commentary from a wide array of people, many of whom have little knowledge of the facts. Unless there is a statement that specifically comes from Mr. Huang or his authorized representative, which presently is solely Hill & Knowlton Hong Kong office, such comments should be given little credence."

I'm staying at Liverpool, says Fernando Torres

Kirdi, who is a Canadian resident, made similar claims in April about his move to buy Liverpool, the UK Press Association reported on Wednesday, but nothing came of it then.

His latest statement claimed: "The group is in advanced negotiations with Thomas Hicks and George Gillett, co-owners of Liverpool Football Club, to purchase 100 percent of the club.

"Agreement has been reached on all major terms including the purchase price, repayment of the existing bank debt from RBS and Wells Fargo and financing of a new stadium in Liverpool's Stanley Park. A formal purchase agreement between the parties is in the final stage of negotiation."

On Tuesday, Barclays Capital and Liverpool would only confirm to CNN that the process was "ongoing."

Meanwhile, Indian businessman Ahasan Ali Syed is hoping to buy Liverpool's Premier League rivals Blackburn Rovers, PA reported on Wednesday.

Syed's investment company Western Gulf Advisory is one of a number of interested parties in the mid-table outfit, which has debts of almost $32 million.

WGA would clear the debt and invest $475 million in Blackburn's future, according to PA.

Blackburn's young French midfielder Steven Nzonzi, 21, has agreed a new five-year contract after impressing last season following his move from Amiens.

Blackburn's neighbors Bolton Wanderers have signed Croatia international Ivan Klasnic on a two-year contract.

The 30-year-old spent last season on loan from French club Nantes, and has now moved on a permanent basis on a free transfer after scoring eight goals in the Premier League.

He is manager Owen Coyle's fourth signing of the pre-season, following young Real Madrid defender Marcos Alonso, Bulgaria winger Martin Petrov and English striker Robbie Blake.