Everton have formally disassociated themselves with claims they are about to be taken over by a Middle East consortium.
Chief executive Robert Elstone made it plain that no deal is being discussed by the Goodison Park club.
He said: "To suggest someone is working for us and that he is close to concluding any form of deal is totally wrong."
The speculation surfaced on Wednesday night in the Abu Dhabi-based newspaper, the National, in which Chris Nathaniel, managing director of NVA Management, revealed that he had already met club officials to outline a possible offer from a United Arab Emirates consortium.
The National quoted Nathaniel as saying: "I can confirm I am acting on behalf of a UAE-based business consortium, who are chaired by a prominent Dubai businessman, and that I am currently in discussions with a number of Premier League clubs, one of which is Everton Football Club."
Nathaniel also said: "Lots of Middle East-based individuals and groups are approaching me about Premier League clubs. There is a real appetite in the region."
It was also outlined that the UAE bid would include a 'football village' around the stadium.
But Everton sources were quick to point out that should they win permission for a new stadium at Kirkby in partnership with Tesco, planning applications currently being considered by the Government make no provision for such a scheme to be included.
The Toffees have now issued an official statement on the subject, saying: "In the wake of reports in some morning newspapers, Everton Football Club wish to clarify the situation with regard to suggestions of a possible takeover by a United Arab Emirates-based business consortium.
"The reports, which originated in an Abu Dhabi newspaper, suggested that the managing director of NVA Management, Chris Nathaniel, was discussing with "a prominent Dubai businessman" a proposal to purchase a controlling interest in Everton Football Club."
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