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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan 24, 2008

Liverpool refinancing nears completion - reports

LONDON, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Liverpool's American owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett are expected to announce within the next few days that they have successfully negotiated a refinancing deal for the club, British media reported on Thursday.

Hicks and Gillett, who bought the club 11 months ago for £220.0million, have been organising the £350million deal with banks.

The agreement will allow them to refinance their original deal, repay loans taken out to buy players last year and to commence work on a new stadium.

Details of a the design for the new stadium are also expected to be revealed when the deal is officially announced.

While the Americans were negotiating with the banks, there was also widespread speculation that Dubai Investment Capital, the investment arm of the Dubai government, outbid when Hicks and Gillett bought the club last year, were considering a renewed bid.

Liverpool fans expressed their anger at Hicks and Gillett at Monday's Premier League match with Aston Villa with banners protesting about their involvement.

Hicks angered Liverpool's fans last week and undermined manager Rafa Benitez when he said the club had spoken to former Germany coach Juergen Klinsmann about possibly taking over as coach.

In a statement issued on Sunday Hicks said he remained "fully committed" in his role as co-owner.

He also denied he has been involved in discussions with DIC about a potential bid of up to £500million.

Hicks said in a statement: "I have not received any offer to purchase the club from the DIC or anyone else, much less accepted any such offer."

If Hicks and Gillett were to sell the club for £350million now, city analysts estimate they would each make about £30million profit from the deal.

The situation also turns some of the spotlight on to Spanish manager Benitez, who has taken the club to two Champions League finals, winning one of them.

His relationship with the American owners was strained at the end of last year over transfer policy but has since eased.

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