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Greenberg group on verge of deal to buy Rangers

The group that has been in exclusive negotiations to buy the Texas Rangers says it is close to a deal.

In a joint statement released late Friday night, which was when their exclusive negotiating period expired, Pittsburgh sports attorney and Myrtle Beach Pelicans owner Chuck Greenberg and Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan said "extraordinary progress" had been made over the last couple of weeks.

"We are on the verge of an agreement that would provide Tom Hicks the value he seeks and the Texas Rangers the resources to become champions," the statement from Greenberg and Ryan said.

Hicks on Dec. 15 entered into an exclusive 30-day negotiation window with Greenberg's group that includes Ryan, the Rangers' president the past two years. Ryan would continue in that role under the proposed deal while Greenberg would be the managing general partner and CEO.

It was unclear early Saturday if the exclusive negotiating period would be extended, or if Hicks would again consider other bids.

Hicks, who has owned the Rangers since 1998, didn't immediately respond to e-mail seeking comment. Hicks had declined comment Friday when asked about the state of negotiations.

Greenberg's group includes about a dozen investors, mostly from the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Hicks is among them and would be one of the biggest investors, though have only a minority stake in the team.

"We have made extraordinary progress the last couple of weeks and have come too far to walk away now," Greenberg and Ryan said. "We are fully committed and prepared to work around the clock if that's what it takes to reach a final agreement. We are at a point where deals get done as long as both parties share a desire to cross the finish line together. There just isn't much left to resolve."