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Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez Image Credit: AFP

Former major league star Alex Rodriguez and fiancee Jennifer Lopez have backed out of the bidding to purchase the New York Mets amid reports that the Wilpon family is finalising a deal with billionaire hedge fund manager Steve Cohen.

Rodriguez announced Friday night that despite “a fully funded offer at a record price,” their group was pulling its offer.

“The consortium said that they are disappointed to not be part of the revitalizsation of New York City and provide an exhilarating experience for the fans and wish the Wilpon family and the entire Mets organization well,” the celebrity couple said in a statement.

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CNBC reported Friday night that Cohen had entered final negotiations and was expected to finalise a deal with the team in the coming days. The Mets declined to comment.

Cohen also entered negotiations to purchase the Mets last year, but the deal fell apart in February. The hedge fund manager bought an 8 per cent limited partnership stake in 2012 for $40 million. The deal under discussion would have seen him acquire an 80 per cent controlling share in a transaction that values the team at $2.6 billion, and the Wilpons would have remained in place for five years.

Rodriguez and Lopez emerged as potential buyers after Cohen’s first negotiations fell apart.

“Alex and I are so disappointed!!,” Lopez wrote on Twitter. “We worked so hard the past 6 months with the dream of becoming the first minority couple and the first woman owner to buy her father’s favourite Major League Baseball team with her own hard earned money. We still haven’t given up!! #NYForever”