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Real escape with hope of progress

What the papers say
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By ESPN Staff

Canadian businessman closes on OM buy-out

MARSEILLE, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Jack Kachkar should become the new owner of Ligue 1 club Olympique Marseille in the next few days.

'The deal is being finalised,' the spokesman said. 'A few technical details still have to be sorted and should be in a matter of days.'

Kachkar has offered 115 millions euros ($151.5 million) to buy the former European champions and has delivered financial guarantees to main shareholder Robert Louis-Dreyfus.

Marseille, the most prestigious French club, lifted the European Cup in 1993 and have won eight league titles.

They were stripped of the French championship in 1993 because of a bribery scandal.

Louis-Dreyfus took over Marseille for the symbolic sum of one franc 10 years ago but has since put about 170 million euros of his personal wealth into the club.

He said he wanted to sell his shares after he received a three-year suspended sentence last June for his involvement in a fraud scandal over player transfers in the late 1990s. He was also fined 375,000 euros.