Administrators in charge of Southampton are confident of concluding the sale of the stricken club imminently.

A Swiss consortium are believed to be the front-runners to complete a takeover at St Mary's after the Matt Le Tissier-backed Pinnacle group pulled out of the running earlier this week.

Joint-administrator Mark Fry has received offers from other parties, including a reported £12.5million bid from an English-based company named Gillico.

But Fry hopes to proceed with one of the earlier bidders as the protracted takeover saga nears a positive conclusion.

"Since our update last week we have continued in our discussions with a number of parties in relation to an acquisition of the football club," said Fry.

"We currently are very confident that a sale will be achieved and that this process will be concluded very shortly.

"In relation to information regarding new interested parties, we are now in an unusual situation whereby we are receiving offers from a number of other parties very late in the day, but are committed to getting the transaction completed with our current buyer."

Southampton's parent company entered administration in April with debts of £30million, and the club will go out of business if a deal cannot be struck.

But the sales of midfielder Andrew Surman and striker David McGoldrick this week for a combined £2.5million gave Saints some much-needed breathing space.

Fry added: "We are pleased that the directors of the football club were able to take action that has enabled the staff to be paid for last month and once again would like to thank the club and its staff for their continued support and patience.

"Last week I was very concerned for the club's future following the failure to complete by the then proposed purchaser, but this week has been much more positive and as said we believe a sale is close to completion."

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