Chinese consortiums sounded out over possible £150million Sunderland buyout, say reports

Sunderland owner Ellis Short

Sunderland owner Ellis Short

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Consortiums in China have been sounded out over a possible takeover of Sunderland AFC, according to reports.

No deal has been agreed and discussions with any potential investors have not progressed past the sounding-out stage.

The Sun report representatives of owner and chairman Ellis Short have spoken to different Far East firms, with Short valuing the club at around the £150million mark.

But the club's perilous league position is reported to have put one potential group off.

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Sunderland are currently bottom of the Premier League with just two points from their opening eight league matches.

Neither Short nor the club has publicly stated the club is up for sale.

The American billionaire has bankrolled Sunderland since he took charge seven years ago and has since invested more than £200m of his own cash into the club.

He has faced criticism from fans over the club's transfer business, although Sunderland spent £27.12million in the summer transfer market - the 10th highest net spend.

Short, who covers every annual shortfall that Sunderland make in their budget, defended his record in his programme notes last August.

Short said: "The amount that I fund every season exceeds the collective total amount funded by every owner Sunderland has ever had since the club was formed in 1879.

"I have done this willingly as I want us to be more than a club that simply exists in the top flight.

"Has the money been spent effectively? No - that much is clear and ultimately that is my fault.

"But it is not a result of a lack of ambition or commitment."

Sunderland fans give their reaction to reports of Chinese takeover