According to the Telegraph, Derby County are on the brink of a takeover by Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan, a member of the Abu Dhabi royal family.
The cousin of Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour has tried to make his way into English football before, first with Liverpool and then with Newcastle United.
A report in the Sun in 2019 claimed a £350 million deal at Newcastle was all-but done.
Newcastle owner Mike Ashley was keen to sell, while prospective new owner Sheikh Khaled had big plans for the Magpies starting with a potential blockbuster new manager.
Rafa Benitez was in charge at the time. The Mirror, however, claimed Sheikh Khaled wanted either Jose Mourinho or former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger for the top job.
Fast forward 18 months or so and the wealthy Abu Dhabi royal family member could finally get his hands on an English club with Championship side Derby County.
The Telegraph claim a deal is on the brink of completion subject to EFL clearing.
Derby are currently 22nd in the Championship table. Some may question why the Rams if Sheikh Khaled is so wealthy, but from a business view, it makes perfect sense.
The Pride Park club have enormous potential, being a sole-city club with a decent sized fanbase, excellent training facilities and an academy to rival England’s best.
Moreover, the global health crisis has put a strain on finances across football and Derby right now may be available at a bargain price compared to Premier League clubs.
Should a takeover go through, Derby will still have to comply with Financial Fair Play rules but an immediate thought may go towards the club’s management staff.
Results haven’t been kind to Phillip Cocu. The Dutchman has been exemplary off the field, and his values and plans are certainly in line with Mel Morris’s Derby vision.
The former PSV Eindhoven boss deserves to see his project come to fruition.
A new owner, however, may view things differently and Sheikh Khaled certainly had ambitions as he reportedly sought to replace Rafa Benitez with Arsene Wenger.
Wenger won three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups during 22 seasons at Arsenal. The Frenchman is a managerial legend and oversaw Arsenal’s invincible campaign.
At 71, Wenger may feel he still has one project left in him. Could that be Derby County? As laughable and unrealistic as it seems, the proposed takeover does raise big questions.