WANDERERS hope to reveal the identity of their preferred bidder today as a takeover of the club moves ever closer.

It is understood a consortium led by London-based businesswoman Sharon Brittan has agreed Heads of Terms at the weekend, the first big step towards a change of control.

Previously known as Football Ventures (Whites) Ltd, a new company has been set up to facilitate the current bid but still believed to involve all the previous protagonists, including Jeff Thomas, Parminder Basran and Michael James.

Wanderers expect to release more information on the people involved in the consortium today with a view to signing a Sale and Purchase agreement and completing the sale in the next few days.

Players and coaching staff will be returning to Lostock this morning still unpaid since March but should be boosted with the news their long wait for payment could soon be at an end.

The consortium has, at present, agreed only to buy the football club – which was placed into administration by the Fildraw trust on May 13 – but The Bolton News understands a separate deal is being worked on which would also see them take control of the adjoining Bolton Whites Hotel.

One potential stumbling block is the renewed involvement of former Watford owner Laurence Bassini, who claims he can get a court injunction to stop the sale going ahead.

Having failed once to buy Wanderers from Ken Anderson, Bassini did launch a second effort in administration which he says was unfairly dismissed.

West Ham vice-chairman David Sullivan was among his backers but it is hotly disputed that he ever produced adequate proof of funds to complete.

Now, 19 days after bidders were asked to present their ‘full and final’ offers, the 49-year-old returned with another bid, which has been turned down by the administrators.

Bassini’s offer is part funded by Middlebrook owner, Peter Emerson Jones, and he could now seek High Court involvement to get his bid over the line.

Should Bassini succeed in stalling the sale, it is feared the time lost could have a significant impact on Wanderers, who start their new season at Wycombe in just over a month and have just a handful of first team players currently on the books.

Bassini also claims administrators asked that he would not be involved in the day-to-day running of the club should his offer be accepted. That has also been strongly denied from within the walls at the University of Bolton Stadium.