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Serie A heavyweights head-to-head

50-50 Challenge 2 days ago
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By ESPN Staff
Jan 9, 2007

Souness in £20million takeover bid for Wolves

Graeme Souness insists his offer to take over at Wolves remains 'on the table' despite revealing it has been rejected by the Coca-Cola Championship club as 'not acceptable'.

The former Rangers, Liverpool and Newcastle manager, who has been out of the game since leaving St James' Park in February 2006, insists he wants to move into the boardroom and take over at Molineux from owner Sir Jack Hayward, who has said he will hand over the reins to an investor prepared to pump £20million into the club.

Wolves chief executive Jez Moxey insists the club are not, or at least are no longer, talking to the 53-year-old Scot, who claimed he was ready to invest his own funds, along with those of 'a partner'.

A statement from Moxey said: 'It is not true that we are in negotiations with Graeme Souness or anyone connected to him.'

But Souness told the Wolverhampton Express & Star: 'I have offered to buy the Wolves for £20million.

'I don't know why Jez Moxey is saying these things. I have had several telephone conversations with Sir Jack Hayward and I have spoken as well with Jez Moxey.

'And last week I made an offer, subject to an examination of the club's books and accounts, of £20million which is the figure Sir Jack had publicly declared he was looking for.'

Souness attended the Barnsley game at Molineux on New Year's Day as a guest of the club, although Moxey claimed that was after a chance meeting when travelling to the USA.

He said today: 'I was told 'no' by Jez Moxey but the offer still stands. It is Sir Jack's football club and if he chooses not to sell it at this time, that's his prerogative.

'He can do what he wants. I have a partner and I see the club having vast potential and I will put more money into it if I got the opportunity.

'This is not a Johnny Foreigner coming along to make a quick buck. But Jez has told me no, the offer wasn't acceptable. That's the end of the matter, but it is there on the table.'

The Souness link follows previous reports that Wolves were in talks with Milan Mandaric, the former Portsmouth owner, which were also strongly denied by the club. Mandaric is currently involved in a takeover at Championship rivals Leicester.

Hayward, who bought Wanderers in 1990 but has spent only one season in the Premiership despite lavishing millions of pounds on the club he supported as a buy, has made it clear the influx of funds would have to be used for 'team strengthening'.

He said in November: 'I have always said that if someone comes in with some money we would be prepared to sell. Originally we asked for £40million but maybe now it is time to change that valuation.

'Maybe now we would sell if someone came in with £20million that they were prepared to invest in the club. If they could promise that investment for team strengthening, we would be prepared to listen.'