Lerner Aston Villa bid could be back on
Aston Villa are hoping to revive negotiations with American billionaire Randy Lerner regarding a possible takeover of the midlands club.
Sources in the United States are indicating there could 'still be some legs' in terms of Lerner being interested in buying Villa.
Lerner met with Villa chairman Doug Ellis on Wednesday and it is understood he was upset at the response he received in talks about a potential £64million deal.
The 44-year-old, owner of NFL side Cleveland Browns, flew back home and Ellis has since come under fire in a joint statement issued by the Aston Villa Shareholders Association and supporters' group Villa Fans Combined.
It is understood a sticking point is what Ellis is looking for in terms of promises and assurances regarding future funding at Villa once any initial buy-out has gone through.
But it appears the deal is not as dead in the water as initially thought with Lerner who has a personal fortune of 1.4million US dollars.
Villa's bankers Rothschilds are also believed to support the idea that negotiations with Lerner and Ellis are still a viable option.
Such a move may quell the anger shown by AVSA and VFC after it appeared the Lerner bid had crashed following his meeting with Ellis.
If Lerner re-enters the race to buy Villa, he will be in direct competition with several other interested parties including the consortium fronted by life-long Villa fan Michael Neville who has made a formal £64million offer.
An un-named consortium from Dubai, who were first linked with Villa a fortnight ago, are also understood to be interested in a buy-out.
Sven Goran Eriksson's agent Athole Still is also believed to be part of a consortium - possibly from Sweden - in contention, which has led to speculation the former England coach could be David O'Leary's successor as Villa manager.
Neville has been determined to be in a position to buy Villa ever since Ellis put the club up for sale nine months ago.
And he also cast doubt over whether the last had been seen of Lerner as he prepares himself to meet Ellis.
Neville said: 'I am not sure it is true that he is 100% gone because these things are never over until they are over.
'I am looking forward to talking to Mr Ellis in the next day or two. If Mr Lerner has withdrawn his bid, then I am not sure whether it helps or hinders us.
'Our bid is either competitive and attractive in its own right or it's not.'
No-one doubts Neville's commitment in wanting to attempt to revive Villa's fortunes if his consortium's bid gets the nod from leading shareholder Ellis.
But it remains to be seen whether he can command the funds required beyond the initial buy-out with Villa desperately needing to bring in several new players before the new season gets under way in just over three weeks.
Neville has strongly hinted he would like Martin O'Neill to become the new Villa manager and ideally the club would like an appointment in place before their pre-season tour of Germany and Holland next week.