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Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed is understood to be on the verge of selling the club after investing £200million at Craven Cottage over the last 16 years.

Potential buyers from America are interested and the Premier League are well into the complex process involved when a club in world football’s richest league changes hands.

Talks are also taking place with Fayed’s advisors and a deal could be completed in time for the start of the season next month – and possibly even by the end of this week.

However, such is the secrecy with which 84-year-old Fayed conducts his business – typified by his sale of Harrods to Qatar Holdings – that executives at Fulham have little or no information about the potential sale that is being conducted through the chairman’s office.

Selling Fulham, now established in the top flight, could make sense at this time for Fayed if he has found the right buyer with deep enough pockets.

The billionaire, who bought the club for £6.25m in 1997 and has since lent them about £200m interest free, is not prepared to put in any more money.

There is speculation that another owner of an NFL franchise may follow in the footsteps of the Glazer family (Manchester United), Stan Kroenke (Arsenal) and Randy Lerner (Aston Villa) in buying into the Premier League.

Also, during talks over Fulham’s funding of their proposed new Riverside Stand, one potential investor has indicated an interest in buying the whole club. Speculation has linked the owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Shahid Khan, with an interest in acquiring the Premier League club.