Aston Villa owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens are reportedly keen to acquire a team in the United States’ Major League Soccer setup.
The MLS is expanding to 30 teams with a new franchise in Las Vegas opening up for potential investors.
Sawiris and Edens, who own Villa through their NSWE company having bought out Tony Xia in 2018, are credited with an interest in running the expansion team.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that Sawiris and Edens are keen on taking the franchise to Las Vegas with the pair going head to head with the owner of the Las Vegas Golden Knights National Hockey League team, Bill Foley.
It would cost around £239 million to purchase the license to a new MLS team and the League’s commissioner, Don Garber, was quoted as saying on Tuesday that the new team “will be appointed sometime or announced sometime in the next 12 months.”
Edens had experience in owning a sports team before taking over at Villa as co-owner of the basketball team the Milwaukee Bucks, the 2021 NBA champions.
Sawiris, meanwhile, has a five per cent stake in Adidas and has seen his net worth rocket to £6.2 billion according to Forbes.
Since Sawiris and Edens took over at Villa, the club has been on an upward trajectory and Dean Smith ‘s side is gunning for a return to the European places after a decade away from playing football on the continent.
Villa earned promotion out of the Championship in the owners’ first season and stayed in the Premier League with a point on the final day at West Ham United.
Last season saw Villa consolidate and this campaign is the one where Villa will have designs on really troubling the top six after a summer of spending on attackers to mitigate the departure of Jack Grealish.