Dozy Mmobuosi, a Nigerian billionaire, is reportedly close to purchasing Sheffield United for £90 million.
Following the unsuccessful takeover attempt of Arsenal by Alhaji Aliko Dangote, the richest man in Africa, a few years ago, this will be the second instance of a prominent Nigerian being associated with the acquisition of a football club in England.
This season, the Blades are vying for promotion back to the Premier League, but a transfer embargo was placed on them last month due to financial issues.
The takeover by Mmobuosi, a Nigerian tech entrepreneur whose company Tingo has been valued at about £7 billion, is reportedly about to solve their problems.
They claim that the embargo was put in place because the Blades neglected to make timely payments on acquisitions, which bans them from making a player purchase for the next 18 months until they achieve promotion.
This included payments to Liverpool for Rhian Brewster, a forward who cost £23.5 million when he was signed in October 2020 but has fallen short of both his price tag and expectations.
The 22-year-old, who was a member of the England squad that won the Under-17 World Cup in 2017, left for Bramall Lane in quest of regular first-team action after failing to crack Jurgen Klopp’s first-team plans.
Due to several hamstring issues, he has only managed 63 games with the Blades and has tallied a pitiful five goals and one assist.
The structure of payments to Swedish club Malmo for Bosnian defender Anel Ahmedhodzic, who relocated last summer, is also reportedly something United is attempting to renegotiate.
The embargo was put in place just as Prince Abdullah, the current Saudi owner of the South Yorkshire club, was about to sell it.
Financial instability prompted rumors that the Blades would need to generate money by selling star midfielder Sander Berge during the January transfer window.
The Norwegian was rumored to be moving to Newcastle or Fulham for £20 million, but the fact that United kept hold of him is seen as a sign that their financial problems will soon be resolved.
Additionally, Sheffield United may be in danger of losing 15 players for nothing this summer when their contracts expire.
The club’s top players, including Oliver Norwood, Wes Foderingham, Oli McBurnie, and Billy Sharp, are all expected to leave for free this summer.
Last year, American Henry Mauriss came very close to taking over the team, but the bid collapsed when he failed the EFL’s test. The most recent offer for the club, according to UK’s The Times, is significantly more viable.
After losing to Nottingham Forest in the play-off semifinals of the previous campaign, Paul Heckingbottom’s team is on track to gain automatic promotion back to the Premier League.
They are currently in second place in the Championship table, five points behind the league leaders Burnley, but have a 12-point lead over Middlesbrough in third place with one game remaining.
If they win promotion, the club would need to invest in the squad in order to stay in the Premier League since they last competed there in 2020–21.
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