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 By Marc Stein

Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver, Steve Nash in Mallorca bid - sources

Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver is reportedly near a deal with Mallorca.

Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver and former Suns star Steve Nash are partnering in the purchase of Real Club Deportivo Mallorca ‎in Spain's Segunda Division, according to league sources.

Sources told ESPN.com that Nash is a key member of a consortium Sarver has assembled that, according to Spanish media reports, will soon clinch the purchase of the Palma-based side.

Sarver, Nash and their group have been trying for months to purchase a football club in Spain and nearly completed the acquisition of Levante from the first division over the summer before talks collapsed in August.

Sarver also made a very serious run at purchasing fallen Scottish giants Rangers in early 2015 before that attempt was also ultimately resisted by local club officials.

Sarver's Suns have endured a turmoil-filled season in their attempts to halt a five-season playoff drought. The franchise, once unanimously regarded as the most popular sports team in Phoenix, has been struggling to maintain its usual traction in town since Nash's departure in the summer of 2012.

Sarver and Nash, though, have maintained a good relationship since the Suns agreed to sign-and-trade the NBA's two-time Most Valuable Player to the Los Angeles Lakers for multiple draft picks.

For a year now, Sarver has been open with his desire to invest in football, saying repeatedly that he's intrigued with the sport's growth potential.

ESPN.com reported in January 2015 that Sarver's interest in Rangers was initiated by former Rangers and Scotland defender David Robertson, who now resides in the Phoenix area and has coached Sarver's sons in youth football.

In his first full season in retirement, Nash is serving as a part-time player development consultant for the Warriors while also maintaining his lifelong interest in football, which includes a minority ownership stake in his hometown Vancouver Whitecaps of Major League Soccer.

As part of the festivities in late October that preceded his induction in the Suns' Ring of Honor, Nash and several friends played a pick-up football game Sarver's house, in which the 54-year-old owner participated.

According to a report in Spanish daily AS, Mallorca's current owner, Utz Claassen, has issued a share-option campaign so a new owner can take over operations.

Spanish reports say Sarver's consortium is set to become maximum shareholder, having proposed a major overhaul at the club.

Sarver's group has reportedly outlined a three-year strategy to secure a return to top-flight football for Mallorca, with Claassen remaining at the club for the rest of the season.

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