By Marcus Leach

Robert Elstone, chief executive of Everton Football Club, has confirmed that there are ongoing and serious conversations regarding a potential takeover of the club.

In a statement released on the club's official website Mr Elstone said that there has 'been plenty of talk about Everton takeovers and investment.

"Speculation and football go hand in hand and over the past few weeks there's been plenty of talk about Everton takeovers and investment," he said.

"As we've said repeatedly, there's been a constant stream of interest and dialogue over a considerable period of time and right at this moment that remains true. There are a number of individuals, groups and companies interested in Everton and genuine conversations are taking place about future ownership and future investment.

"The Club is always receptive, responsive and professional, which means we respect the confidentiality agreements which prevent either side from disclosing the interest. Of course, we fully understand what you want to know is will these discussions be successful? That I can't say. Discussions are still at an early stage. What I know to be absolutely the case is the first question asked by us in these discussions is never ‘how much?' but always ‘what are your thoughts, intentions or plans for Everton's future?'

"The responsibility to find the right buyer is paramount and not an excuse for ‘not really for sale' or ‘wanting too much for it' or ‘wanting to stay involved'. Such a negative outlook only hinders a painstaking and challenging process made all the more difficult in a recession-hit world. I'm tired of saying it but the Club is absolutely for sale and has not, and will not fail to be sold because it's too expensive or comes with onerous conditions. We sincerely hope the right buyer, with the right motives, with a commitment to take Everton forward is part of this current dialogue."

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