A Dubai government-run investment fund said on Tuesday its talks with Liverpool football club's American owners about buying a stake were stuck because one of the club owners "was in dreamland" about valuations.
"It's no secret that we have been in discussions with the current owners," Dubai International Capital (DIC) Chief Executive Sameer al-Ansari told reporters at a conference.
"It's not easy because the owners are in dreamland about valuations at the moment," said Ansari of Tom Hicks and George Gillett. He later clarified that one of the club's owners "had come out of dreamland", without giving further details.
Hicks said last month he was not planning to sell a stake in the English Premier League soccer club, denying press speculation that he was in talks with DIC over a sale.
The Times, without citing a source for the information, said on Tuesday that DIC was confident Gillett would accept its offer of 200 million pounds ($397 million) for his 50 percent of the club but said there were claims that Hicks was ready to exercise his option to buy out Gillett's stake.
However, a shareholders agreement between the two Americans means that any sale by Gillett would have to be approved by Hicks who has made it clear he has no intention of selling to a majority shareholder.
Hicks said in January he had talked to DIC "once" about a 10-15 percent stake but Dubai said at the time the valuation was too high.
Hicks and Gillett completed a refinancing deal in January that should allow them to go ahead with the building of a new stadium on parkland adjacent to the club's current Anfield home, though the plans have changed and been delayed several times.
Fans have voiced their disapproval of the American owners in recent months after they fell out with Spanish manager Rafael Benitez last year over transfer policy.
In January Hicks attempted to smooth the waters by saying Benitez had his "full support". He also said there was no question that he had would still be an owner of Liverpool in five years.
DIC had been considering a bid for the club last year before pulling out. DIC, which manages about $13 billion of assets, is owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, Dubai's ruler.