City Football Group (CFG) are considering the establishment of a branch corporation in Japan, Kyodo reported on Wednesday.
The move, which could be completed by summer of 2015, would be a prerequisite to a purchase of J-League club Yokohama F. Marinos.
CFG, who in addition to Manchester City are the majority shareholders of Major League Soccer’s New York City FC and the A-League’s Melbourne City FC, bought a nearly 20-percent stake in Marinos earlier this year.
The J-League has recently considered approving an overhaul of rules limiting foreign investment, instead requiring that a Japanese corporation be established to ensure legal compliance and financial stability. However, a buyout is unlikely to proceed without the cooperation of current majority shareholders Nissan.
Officials from CFG consulted with Marinos in the signing of Frenchman Erick Mombaerts as their new manager this month following a disappointing seventh-place finish in the J1.