By Craig Scott

11th Nov, 2022 | 6:10pm

49ers Enterprises are not set for an “imminent” takeover at Leeds United with common sense suggesting a deal could be completed next summer, according to Phil Hay.

The Times reported on 9 November that the investment arm of NFL franchise San Francisco 49ers have acquired the funds to buy Andrea Radrizzani out of Elland Road.

According to US banking sources, moves have been made in recent weeks in order to progress with the takeover of the Yorkshire club but a final price is set to depend on whether Leeds remain in the Premier League at the end of the season.

In terms of a timescale, The Times suggest that next summer could see the deal completed.

Hay agrees that would be the best time for an overhaul in the boardroom as that was the case when Andrea Radrizzani bought the Whites in 2017.

“My understanding in the piece I did with David Ornstein was that the options was there until 2024, which is why we expected it done before that date,” said Hay on the latest episode of The Phil Hay Show podcast (11 November, 19m50s).

“Interestingly, when we ran the piece originally, the kind of feeling at Elland Road was it was probably going to come much sooner than that and probably likely to come before now.

“There is still a feeling this isn’t imminent, as in the next few weeks.

“But people do seem to be talking about next summer, which, I guess given that the option is January 2024, you would assume… Common sense says you would do it off-season rather than trying to do it midseason.

“All the transitional aspects of senior management, executive staff, if you’re going to change any of them. It’s much easier to do it. Radrizzani did it when he bought from [Massimo] Cellino.”

Do it now

If the 49ers can buy Radrizzani out of Elland Road now, then they should do it.

Using the World Cup break would be a great chance to get things sorted behind the scenes and potentially equip Jesse Marsch with a transfer war chest for January.

Leeds spent a lot in the summer – but almost all of what they spent was garnered from player sales.

In terms of investment, Radrizzani didn’t really put anything in and that’s left Leeds with a squad that’s showing potential but it still three or four quality players short of being one that can push for a top-half finish.

Marsch has shown weaknesses as the manager but there’s still some faith to be had in him.

He’s a likeable character, the players seem to like him, he does try to play a very exciting brand of football and he’s someone who we are happy to have in charge.

It’s just some of his decisions let him down and sell the squad short.

He needs help. He needs money in January.

In other Leeds United news, Gary Neville will be furious with this major development at Leeds.