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By ESPN Staff

Souness consortium in talks with Wolves

A consortium involving Graeme Souness will press on with their attempt to buy a controlling stake in Wolves after the Coca-Cola Championship club confirmed receipt of a written offer.

Negotiations will now take place in private, with both parties bound by a confidentiality agreement while talks go on.

However, it is understood that there have been other expressions of interest from investors willing to meet current owner Sir Jack Hayward's demands to put in £20million.

A statement on behalf of Souness and his consortium partners issued last night read: 'Following my verbal offer myself and partners - all of whom are UK-born and based - have made a written offer which is being considered.

'Both parties have agreed to keep details of these negotiations confidential.'

Wolves chief executive Jez Moxey confirmed soon afterwards that he had received the offer from the 53-year-old former Liverpool and Newcastle manager.

A statement from Moxey read: 'I can confirm that following the signing of confidentiality agreements this evening, we have now received a formal written offer for the club on behalf of Graeme Souness and others.

'Both parties have agreed not to make any further public comments.'

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 seen only one season of Premiership football despite lavishing millions of pounds on the club he supported as a boy, 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.'