Derby confirm Abu Dhabi royal Sheikh Khaled has agreed 'deal in principle' ahead of £60m takeover

DERBY COUNTY confirmed a deal has been agreed in principle with the Abu Dhabi royal Sheikh Khaled for the sale of the club.

The Rams revealed the transaction is 'expected to close very soon' to seal the £60million takeover bid.

On Thursday, EFL bosses gave the new owner the green light.

Wayne Rooney's struggling side are lodged in 23rd in the Championship table and have been in flux since Mel Morris put the club up for sale.

A statement from Derby read: "These talks progressed to the point where a deal has, in principle, been agreed between the two parties.

"The club's submission under the Owners and Director's test for Derventio was approved by the EFL board on Thursday.

"Derventio Holdings (UK) Limited, whose ultimate controlling entity is Bin Zayed International LLC, owned by Sheikh Khaled Zayed Bin Saquer Zayed Al Nayhan, may now proceed with the transaction, which is expected to close very soon."

Sheikh Khaled, 61, is a member of the Abu Dhabi royal family and cousin of Manchester City's bankroller Sheikh Mansour.

He previously failed with a £2billion bid for Liverpool in 2018 and a £350million offer for Newcastle failed to progress in 2019.

The finer details of his takeover are still to be agreed but it is widely expected that under-fire boss Phillip Cocu will be sacked.

The Dutchman has reportedly been left at the helm for now to avoid disrupting the takeover process.

Cocu held meeetings with CEO Stephen Pearce on Thursday along with current owner and executive chairman Morris – who is looking to end his five-year reign.

But after Pearce tested positive for Covid-19 all three are now self-isolating.

Derby lost 1-0 at home to QPR on Wednesday – their seventh defat of the campaign.

And Cocu said: "I don't try to think too much because we have to focus on the team and the players who are available, and that part of the club I leave to Mel Morris and Stephen Pearce."

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