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Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis categorically denied an ESPN report Sunday that he's negotiating to sell part of his team.
The Raiders dismissed an ESPN report Sunday that said managing general partner Al Davis is negotiating to sell part of the team to a group with designs on moving it to Los Angeles.

The report was written by ESPN's Chris Mortensen, who Davis called "a professional liar" on Sept. 30 for his penchant for writing stories about the Raiders without attributing them to named persons employed by the Raiders.

On Sunday, Mortensen wrote that Davis and chief executive Amy Trask are negotiating a transaction with a group led by C. Dean Metropoulos a transaction that would turn over at least 10 percent of the Raiders. Mortensen attributed the story to unnamed "league sources."

Raiders senior executive John Herrera spoke with Davis on Sunday morning and characterized Davis' reaction to the report as "incredulous." He also vehemently denied the report.

"The report from Chris Mortensen which states that the Raiders, Al Davis and Amy Trask are in negotiations with Dean Metropoulous to sell the team is totally unfounded and false," Herrera said. "Once again, for reasons known only to him, Mortensen has fabricated a story which has no basis in fact."

Davis owns a bigger stake in the Raiders than any of the other shareholders. He sold approximately 20 percent of the team in October of 2007 to three investors as a means of infusing more cash into the day-to-day operations of the franchise.

That transaction did not cede any control to the three investors or give them an option to purchase the team at some point.

Mortensen's report said Metropoulos' group is seeking a purchase option within three to five years. The Philadelphia Daily News last year said Metropoulos has a desire to move an NFL team to Los Angeles.

The ESPN report said that Metropoulos has publicly denied any such intent. However, it also said league sources confirmed Metropoulos' intent to occupy the Los Angeles market.

"Al Davis owns the Raiders and some day his son, Mark Davis, will own the Raiders," Herrera said. "Every facet of this story is dead wrong."

Mortensen did not quote anyone from the Raiders. Herrera said Mortensen did not contact him, Davis or Trask for his report.

"It's amazing that he would report a story that is totally fabricated and do so without contacting anyone from the Raiders," Herrera said.

Contact Steve Corkran at scorkran@bayareanewsgroup.com.