JACK ROSS has dropped his strongest hint yet to suggest that Sunderland’s takeover is nearing completion.

Stewart Donald has agreed to sell the bulk of his majority stake in the Black Cats to MSD Partners, the New York-based investment firm that manages the capital of billionaire businessman Michael Dell.

Dell, whose involvement in Dell Technologies makes him the 25th richest man in the world, will be a passive, minority investor, with ownership of Sunderland switching to Glenn Fuhrman, John Phelan and Robert Platek, who are the principals of MSD Partners.

Donald and his fellow director, Charlie Methven, will continue to play a hands-on role in the day-to-day running of the club, and while Ross did not want to disclose too many details about his conversations this week, he has suggested that a formal announcement confirming the change of ownership could be close.

Ross said: “Have I had any updates? Yeah. I’ve said often enough that with my relationship with Stewart, I have good communication with him.

“I’ve had a regular dialogue with those people that will possibly take ownership of the club, but until that’s all concluded, I’d be reluctant to say too much about it. Sorry.”

Nevertheless, the fact that Ross was willing to talk on the record about ‘possible new owners’ strongly suggests a resolution to the current situation is close.

In the meantime, the Sunderland boss will spend the next 24 hours completing his preparations for Saturday’s trip to a Bolton Wanderers side that picked up only their second point of the season when they drew with Oxford United on Tuesday night.

There are no new major injury concerns, but a couple of the players that started Sunderland’s midweek draw with Rotherham United are struggling with knocks picked up in the game.

Ross said: “Duncan is still unavailable. Laurens (de Bock) and Joel (Lynch) should be available for the squad after this weekend. The cup game will maybe be the first one for them to contend for.

“We’ve got a couple of concerns from Tuesday, but I’d rather not say who they are at the moment. We’ll see how they are today and tomorrow.”