Championship club Bolton are hoping to conclude takeover talks next week.
Bolton advisor Trevor Birch, who has been brought in to head the negotiations, has been speaking with four interested parties.
Contractual and funding issues still need to be resolved but the club are hopeful of a positive conclusion.
Bolton are bottom of the table and their players were not paid in November because of what was described as "a short-term funding issue".
Former Bolton striker Dean Holdsworth is understood to be part of one consortium, while former Trotters midfielder Stelios Giannakopoulos is part of another.
Owner Eddie Davies has agreed to write off the club's £172.9m debt in order to push through a deal but is refusing to put in any further funds.
There had been talk of the club entering administration, which would lead to a 12-point penalty.
Speaking earlier in the week, Birch described Bolton's situation as "increasingly perilous", adding that "new investment is needed quickly".
|Bolton's decline over past decade|
|2004-05||Premier League - 6th||2010-11||Premier League - 14th|
|2005-06||Premier League - 8th||2011-12||Premier League - 18th|
|2006-07||Premier League - 7th||2012-13||Championship - 7th|
|2007-08||Premier League - 16th||2013-14||Championship - 14th|
|2008-09||Premier League - 13th||2014-15||Championship - 18th|
|2009-10||Premier League - 14th||2015-16||Championship - 24th*|
|* position after 18 games|