James Nursey in The Mirror is reporting that a wealthy Chinese consortium is in the final stages of a bid for Aston Villa and that a takeover may occur as soon as a few hours after the FA Cup final on May 30. From Nursey's article:
And Villa could lift the Cup then be in new hands within hours as the Chinese are determined to buy a Premier League club...
MirrorSport understands the consortium already have representatives in England and are doing due diligence ahead of completing a Villa deal in early June.
The whole article is worth a read, in fact. In it, we find out that the group are also apparently interested in West Bromwich Albion as a back-up plan in case things go south and Villa get relegated. While the Baggies are supposedly £50 million cheaper than Villa, the claret and blues are still the primary target in large part thanks to their better facilities.
I've been quick to dismiss takeover rumours in the past, and my gut instinct says not to take this too seriously. But Nursey has a few things going for him here. Firstly, his name is actually on this story. Very often the baseless rumours come out of stories without bylines. Secondly, there seems to be quite a bit of detail here. It's really easy to make something up and be vague about it, but putting out as many details as Nursey has is significantly harder if the claim has no grounding in reality.
Granted, this isn't a super-detailed report. We've got a vague consortium and reports of their representatives having toured facilities around the midlands. I'm not going all-in here. But given the fact that Aston Villa are surprisingly popular in China, it's a connection that makes some sense. If we were giving this rumour a rating on a scale of 1-5, I'd probably land on a 3. Not worth thinking about too much yet, but certainly worth keeping an eye on.