A TURKISH steel magnate is behind a proposed takeover at Crawley Town, The Argus can reveal.

Ziya Eren, the president of Turkish first division club Kayseri Erciyesspor, has agreed to buy the cash-strapped League Two club with contracts expected to be exchanged today.

Eren set up his own steel company in the Central Anatolian city of Kayseri at the age of 17 and has seen his empire grow to have a turnover of £500 million last year.

He took over as president of Kayseri Erciyesspor – nicknamed the Blue Dragons – in 2011 and helped them win promotion to the Super League in 2013.

The 45-year-old is keen to establish a link with a lower league English club to use as a feeder club for Kayseri Erciyesspor who are currently 15th in the Turkish first division after being relegated from the Super League last season.

Eren is believed to be planning to send some of Kayseri’s younger players to Crawley to help their development and also showcase some of the club’s better players to increase their chances of earning big-money moves to the Championship or Premier League.

The Argus exclusively revealed that Crawley were in advanced talks over a potential takeover two weeks ago with the club subsequently confirming that February 12 was the expected day for the deal to be confirmed.

Chief executive Michael Dunford insisted this week that the buyout was still expected to go ahead but warned that it could take another “week or two” for the Football League to complete its ‘fit and proper persons’ test for the potential new owners.

Dunford said: “I don’t think the deal will have received Football League approval by today and therefore the completion of the deal may have to go back a week or two until the league are satisfied. There is nothing untoward in that. The date was suggested as a date by the buyers’ solicitors but that was always going to be a challenge.”