Abu Dhabi royal Sheikh Khaled – cousin of Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour – closing in on sensational takeover of Derby County
- Derby are set to be taken over by the cousin of Man City owner Sheikh Mansour
- Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan is close to getting a green light for the deal
- Current owner Mel Morris is selling to a man valued at close to £500million
The cousin of Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour is set to complete a stunning takeover of Championship club Derby as early as next week.
Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan, a senior member of the Abu Dhabi royal family, is in advanced talks with Rams owner Mel Morris with the EFL close to giving the green light to the deal.
Derby are captained by England’s record goal scorer Wayne Rooney.
The cousin of Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour (middle) is close to buying Derby
The Championship side would be purchased by Sheikh Khaled, who is worth around £500m
Sheikh Khaled has failed in the past with attempts to buy Liverpool and Newcastle but the latest efforts appear more promising.
Morris has been seeking investment in the club, who are struggling in the Championship, for a significant period. The businessman, worth about £500million, is expected to step aside from his role as chairman.
Sheikh Khaled, 62, is listed as a ‘person with significant control’ within a new company called Derventio Holdings (UK) Limited.
Current owner Mel Morris (left) has been looking for fresh investment for some time now
Derby have not competed in the top flight since they were relegated in 2007-08 and have had a turbulent time since Phillip Cocu replaced Frank Lampard in the summer of 2019.
They signed Rooney as a player-coach, sacked former captain Richard Keogh after a team-bonding night ended in a car crash that led to players Tom Lawrence and Mason Bennett being charged and failed to pay their players on time last January.
More recently, Cocu has come under pressure following a poor start to the season that has brought only one won from their opening eight league matches, ahead of Saturday’s trip to Bournemouth.
They are currently 21st in the table.
Speculation about Cocu’s future has been intense since early in the season, with Morris forced to back him publicly amid rumours that Rooney was being lined up to replace him.
The club have had a turbulent time in the second tier since Philipp Cocu took charge in 2019