Everton have reached an exclusivity agreement with New York-based company MSP Sports Capital for investment in the club, BBC Sport understands.
Sources have said the deal is not yet done but talks are progressing between the two parties over future funding.
MSP look to have jumped ahead of 777 Partners, who have been in talks over a takeover from owner Farhad Moshiri.
Everton are currently two points above the Premier League’s relegation zone with one game remaining this season.
However, the Toffees will drop into the bottom three if Leicester win at Newcastle on Monday (20:00 BST).
MSP are believed to be looking for a 25% stake with a preferential share structure, not equity in the club, so would be paid back in interest.
777 have had access to the ‘data room’ (financial accounts), but have not been prepared to pay a ‘significant’ price as they have looked at the debt on the balance sheet – which stood at £141.7m in the latest accounts.