'Just the latest rumour!' - Stewart Donald responds to £50m Sunderland takeover speculation

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Sunderland owner Stewart Donald has described reported takeover interest from a consortium of Chinese businessmen as ‘just the latest rumour!”

A consortium consisting of Chinese businessmen has been linked with a £50million offer to buy Sunderland in the national press - despite Donald recently denying a takeover is imminent.

Sunderland AFC owner Stewart Donald.

Sunderland AFC owner Stewart Donald.

Donald and executive director Charlie Methven only purchased the club for a £40million fee a year ago, which was initially expected to be paid in instalments over two years.

The final payment has been made to previous owner Ellis Short to leave Sunderland debt free - news which is likely to attract potential buyers or investors.

Reports over the weekend in the Sunday Mirror claimed a consortium consisting of Chinese businessmen based in Hong Kong are considering a £50million bid for the Black Cats - depending on whether the club wins promotion from League One this campaign.

Sunderland’s automatic promotion hopes took a big blow following the 1-1 draw with Portsmouth, with the Black Cats seemingly destined for the play-offs.

The Sunderland owner took to social media to respond to the latest rumours.

Donald, responding to a Sunderland supporter on Twitter, posted: “Just the latest rumour!!! No idea if someone is planning a bid.”

Donald admitted earlier this month there has been interest in Sunderland since he took over last summer, yet no potential offers have been right for the club.

Speaking to the Roker Rapport podcast, he also admitted he wouldn't stand in the way if someone wanted to buy Sunderland and 'do a Man City', but only if it benefited the club.

The Sunderland owner has also made it no secret that he is looking to bring fresh investment to the club - regardless of the division Sunderland find themselves in next season.

Uruguayan businessman Juan Sartori purchased a 20 per cent stake in the Black Cats last summer and Donald admitted it could be an option to increase his share.