West Ham have given renewed hope to the takeover bid led by Icelandic businessman Eggert Magnusson after he was given permission to inspect the club's accounts.
West Ham directors were told at a board meeting today that Magnusson will now be allowed to carry out due diligence - the process of inspecting the accounts before making a formal bid.
The club had refused to meet Magnusson until yesterday, in the hope a formal offer would be received from a rival bid fronted by Iranian-born Kia Joorabchian and backed by Israeli businessman Eli Papouchado.
That bid had been the front-runner but when any offer failed to materialise by the end of last week the club's patience ran out and Hammers chairman Terence Brown yesterday met Magnusson.
At that meeting, Brown committed to allowing Magnusson, who is being backed by Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson, the head of the Icelandic bank Landsbanki, to carry out due diligence.
It is understood Magnusson indicated his consortium is prepared to pay £75million for the club, with most of it coming from equity rather than borrowed money, and would also take over the £23million debt.
Magnusson is also committed to providing money for new signings in the January transfer window and to keeping faith with under-pressure manager Alan Pardew.
A West Ham spokesman told PA Sport: 'A full board meeting took place and the directors were updated on the latest position regarding a takeover but no decisions were taken.'
Brown has previously stated he would only be prepared to sell if it benefited the club. His initial determination to deal only with the Joorabchian bid wavered last week as no offer was put on the table, and after a series of phone calls over the weekend he decided to invite Magnusson to a meeting.
Magnusson has said he will step down from his position on UEFA's ruling executive committee and as president of the Icelandic FA if his takeover goes through.