LONDON (Reuters) - Liverpool's owners have hired an investment bank to advise on the possible sale of a sizeable stake in the club to a Chinese consortium, the Financial Times said on Saturday citing sources close to the matter.
The consortium is structured as a partnership between Everbright, a Chinese state-owned financial conglomerate, and PCP Capital Partners, the report said.
Liverpool are owned by the Fenway Sports Group of the US.
If the deal goes through it would be the latest in a series of investments from China in football clubs across Europe, in keeping with President Xi Jinping's bid to raise the profile of the sport in his country.
Earlier this week, chairman Tom Werner denied Liverpool were up for sale while chief executive Ian Ayre said the club were not engaged in investment discussions with anyone.
Chinese groups announced deals this month to buy AC Milan, England's West Bromwich Albion and second-tier French side Auxerre.
Other recent recipients of Chinese backing include Aston Villa, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Inter Milan while Manchester City and Atletico Madrid have significant minority investments from the country.
The sale of AC Milan was the most high-profile of the recent spate of Chinese investments. But any deal for Liverpool, the world's ninth richest club by revenue according to Deloitte, is almost certain to eclipse that.