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Martinez's woe at wretched Everton

Everton
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By ESPN Staff

Liverpool set to ignore American takeover bid

Liverpool sources have insisted that 'it doesn't matter' if George Gillett assesses the club's books or not as they are looking to proceed with their deal with Dubai International Capital.

Reports have surfaced that Gillett, an American, was to start examining the Liverpool books in advance of a rival bid for the Anfield outfit, but the sources insisted that such a move was merely his legal prerogative.

Instead the club could be a matter of weeks away from being taken over by DIC.

Liverpool chairman David Moores has already turned down a bid from Gillett, who also owns the ice hockey team Montreal Canadiens, but he has written to Moores offering improved terms.

But television reports that Gillett was due to start a process of due diligence do not indicate a change of stance from the club or DIC, who are intent on completing their £450million bid for control of the Merseyside club.

Gillett's latest move is considered to be a red herring by the Liverpool hierarchy, who are confident of securing a swift resolution to their negotiations with the Dubai company.

A source said: 'It doesn't really matter what George Gillett does, he is able to see the club's books because he is a bidder for the club.

'But the club will continue working with DIC and are close to a satisfactory conclusion.'

The club expect that DIC will be in a position to announce through the Stock Exchange that they have had a bid accepted for Moores' 51% holding in as little as a fortnight.

That would trigger the sale of the rest of the club's shares to DIC and the agreement to start work on a new 60,000 stadium at Stanley Park.

The return of Gillett to the scene in the past few days has been an irritant to the current Liverpool hierarchy, who have been involved in detailed discussions with DIC over ownership of the club as well as the Stanley Park project.

There are concerns on the Liverpool board that success for Gillett's rival bid would lead to a reopening of the debate over ground sharing with Everton, which the current club officials and the majority of fans oppose.

Moores has already reached agreement with the investment arm of the Dubai government on a deal which would see DIC purchase majority control for around £155million, assume £80million of debt and fund a new 60,000-seater stadium close to the club's existing Anfield home.

Meanwhile manager Rafael Benitez has continued strengthening Liverpool's youth options by signing 18-year-old Dutch striker Jordy Brouwer from Ajax.

Benitez is eager to improve the standard of his reserve team and has moved for Brouwer after seeing a host of his second-string embarrassed by a young Arsenal side in the Carling Cup.