The newspapers The Daily, The Sunday Telegraph and The Spectator were put up for sale this summer after the previous owners were unable to pay their debts. Now, Abu Dhabi-led Redbird IMI and International Media Investments of Abu Dhabi have said they will pay off the debt if they are allowed to take over the newspapers.

'Controversial buyer'

The sale has led to debate in England. Partly about how the possible ownership can affect news journalism and partly about whether the purchase can get more rich Gulf states to start investing in media houses in the same way as they have invested in football clubs.

The Redbird investment fund is led by American businessman and media executive Jeff Zucker and UAE Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The latter also owns the Manchester City football club.

Sheikh Mansour is one of the Middle East's greatest businessmen and investors. He is also the brother of President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, who rules Abu Dhabi.

"He is a controversial potential buyer, especially because he has strong links to the government in Abu Dhabi," said James Savage, CEO and editor-in-chief of The Local.

"Can lose their independence"

Amnesty International has flagged that the purchase could have major consequences for press freedom in the UK.

The consortium behind the purchase has responded to the criticism and said it will ensure the independence of the conservative newspaper The Telegraph and ensure that the newspaper does not become a voice for the government in Abu Dhabi.

"A lot of people inside and outside the Tory Party and the government don't believe in that promise. There is a concern that the newspaper will become less loyal to the Tory party, but also in a larger context lose its journalistic independence, says James Savage.

Hear from James Savage, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of The Local, about what the potential purchase could mean.