Supporters of Everton football club are watching with bated breath as the future of their beloved team hangs in the balance.

The Goodison Park club could change hands within a fortnight as a takeover by US investors John Jay Moores and Charles Noell looks more and more likely.

Our sister publication The Liverpool Echo understands it looks increasingly likely a deal in the region of £200m will go through before the end of the month.

The approach by the former San Diego Padres owner John Jay Moores and his associate Charles Noell was first reported in December, and talks have now advanced to such an extent that a finalised agreement is close.

It is believed that two potential China-based buyers also remain interested, but talks have progressed so far with the American pair that any other proposals would only be considered if a deal-breaking late bump in the road occurred.

John Jay Moores

Moores and Noell have spent the last six weeks carrying out due diligence on the club's books, and holding talks with the Blues' biggest shareholders - chairman Bill Kenwright, Robert Earl and Jon Woods.

They are now at a stage where a deal in principle is close to being finalised to buy the majority shareholding in the club.

Everton have declined to comment.

The Blues have remained tight-lipped since the report surfaced before Christmas due to the commercial sensitivities of such a deal.

At the club's general meeting in the Philharmonic in November, chief executive Robert Elstone said that "there have never been more people out there looking (for investment in the club)".

Everton chairman Bill Kenwright

He also added: "There has never been more people interested in investing in Everton and the chairman is confident [investment] will be secured in the near future."

Should the takeover now progress to completion as expected the new shareholders will also begin to evaluate the next step in the club's search for a new stadium.

They are sure to already have their own thoughts on what the next step should be, whether it is to further pursue the Walton Hall Park scheme, redeveloping Goodison or looking at a different site.