Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn has confirmed he is in talks to sell his shares in the club to Italian businessman Francesco Becchetti.

A short statement on the O's website confirmed the 66-year-old was in talks with Bechetti, who has previously been linked with a takeover of Reading Football Club.

The statement read: 

"Leyton Orient can confirm that Chairman Barry Hearn is in talks with Italian businessman Francesco Becchetti regarding the sale of his shareholding in the Club.

"The sale is subject to due diligence and Football League approval and the Club will not be making any further comment at this stage."

Becchetti, who owns Becchetti Energy Group (BEG) has recently set up Leyton Orient holdings with Companies House.

Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis was last summer rumoured to be interested in buying the club but the O's moved to distance themselves from talk linking the 65-year-old Italian.

Hearn's desire to sell his shareholding in the club is no secret and in March 2009, the Matchroom Sport founder and chairman told The Guardian Series: "The movers and shakers in football know Orient is available, but my door is not being banged down. In fact, I haven't had even as much as a tap.

"In a perfect world, I'd love to get out to someone who can do something I can't do, which is take this club further."