Sports broadcaster Richard Keys has made an outlandish claim that one of his friends had "been offered" to buy Everton.
And the former Sky Sports presenter believes that it means Farhad Moshiri "wants out" of Goodison Park.
What's been said
As of December 2020, Moshiri owned 77.2% of the Toffees, having first bought into the club in February 2016.
Under the Iranian, Everton have begun construction on a new 52,888-capacity stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock.
The Toffees have also paid sizeable transfer fees for the likes of Richarlison, Jordan Pickford and Gylfi Sigurdsson while Moshiri's been at the club, while James Rodriguez reportedly earns around £200,000 per week.
But Everton's problems with financial fair play rules during the summer transfer were well documented and the latest accounts showed they suffered losses of £139.9m.
Keys, who now works for Qatari media group beIN - having left Sky in 2011 after making derogatory, sexist comments about female referee Sian Massey - claimed a friend of his was offered to purchase Everton for £500 million and a guaranteed £500 million to finish Bramley-Moore.
In a blog post on richardajkeys.com, he wrote: "A small fortune - £450 million - has been pumped into Everton in recent seasons. By whom isn’t clear. Farhad Moshiri fronts the operation - but whatever the source - I don’t see the flow continuing.
"In my part of the world, it’s not a surprise to hear that someone is hawking a football club about looking for money. On the day I arrived here - eight years ago - I bumped into a mate, in a bar, who was looking to construct a deal to sell Man Utd - not that he had a mandate to!
"I’ve heard Liverpool mentioned - in fact - you name a club and there’s an accompanying story of someone trying to sell it. Few are ever true. There’s lots of sellers - but no takers.
“But my ears did prick up recently when a friend of mine told me he’d been offered Everton. The price - £500 million and a guarantee of £500 million to finish Bramley-Moore Dock. The figures seemed realistic so I asked a few questions. My conclusion was that it was a bonafide offer.
"It was turned down - but it suggests that the current owners of Everton want out. Whether that’s good news or not I don’t know.
"Of course, a denial is only to be expected - but whatever the truth, I can’t see [Rafa] Benitez getting the same flow of money that he’s generally had elsewhere. It’s back to the future for Everton - to the days when David Moyes worked miracles year after year.
"I wonder if Benitez has got the stomach for a frugal ‘long term’ project?"