EFL chief Shaun Harvey has confirmed former Watford owner Laurence Bassini has been working towards a deal to buy Bolton Wanderers – but has not yet taken the league’s owners and directors’ test.

Harvey says the 49-year-old businessman is one of a few potential buyers who have been speaking to the EFL over taking control of Ken Anderson’s 94.5 per cent stake in Burnden Leisure Ltd.

“There are a number of purchasers that have had deals agreed at one stage or the other. We don’t comment on specifics, in particular, however we have been dealing with Mr Bassini in recent weeks, among others.

“He has not subscribed to the test as yet. But if the sale is to proceed we would expect him to be doing that in a relatively short order.”

Concerns have been raised among Bolton fans over Bassini, who has twice been declared bankrupt and was banned from owning an EFL club for three years in 2013 for alleged financial misconduct but has since been cleared to return to football.

Bassini has pledged to invest a “large sum of money” in helping Wanderers back towards the Premier League, claiming to have made a fortune in property in the last few years.

He asked Bolton fans to stay “patient” last week as he continued negotiations with Anderson’s advisor, Paul Aldridge.

But Harvey has revealed a sale does now appear to be drawing closer.

“The club is publicly up for sale and a sale has been agreed,” he said.

“We at the EFL now have a process that we have to go into, as we would in a change of control at any club, not just a club that some would categorise as a club in crisis.

“Even in the most positive sales we need to ensure that the incoming owners, or those responsible for the conduct of the club going forward, are able to pass our owners and directors’ test and ultimately the principles behind the takeover have got the sufficiency of funds to keep the club going and that we are comfortable with where those funds are coming from.”

It remains to be seen whether the EFL’s test will be a stumbling block for Bassini, whose 13-month spell in charge at Watford ended under a dark financial cloud.

“If he is to take over the club he will have to subscribe to the test,” Harvey said.

“It’s an objective test against a set of criteria. Depending on what the answers to each question are depends on how long each application takes to process.

“Each one has to be done on an individual basis, you can imagine the different stories we see.

“If an application comes through clean through all our initial checks and there is nothing to highlight then that element of the process can be very, very quick.

“If there are questions or further enquiries to raise then we are in the hands of how quickly we get responses and whether they meet the criteria.”

Harvey also confirmed to BBC Five Live that the EFL advanced money – thought to be around £160,000 - to Wanderers to enable the games against Ipswich and Middlesbrough to go ahead.

“The way that the EFL distributes the money to clubs is we do it on a monthly basis by a process of what we call the basic award,” he explained.

“What we did last week for Bolton was effectively advance part of the payment they would have received in the month of April.

“They would have received the money yesterday in any event. All we did was work with the club to ensure the two games that were in doubt as a result of the local authority issuing a prohibition order could take place.”