MONTREAL, SEPT. 14 -- Expos President Claude Brochu said an agreement to sell the team to local buyers is nearly complete, meaning the NL club will stay in Montreal.

"I'm 99.9 percent certain that everything is in place," he said. "I'll say 100 percent when everything is signed."

Owner Charles Bronfman put the team on the market in the spring for about $85 million, asking Brochu to solicit offers only from local groups.

Brochu met with the Major League Ownership Committee this week in Pittsburgh and confirmed reports that both the Government of Quebec and the City of Montreal will be involved in the purchase.

On Thursday, a Government of Quebec spokesman said it was ready to lend the investors as much as $25.7 million. No word was given as to the city's role, but Brochu stressed the two governments would remain in the background.

Commissioner Fay Vincent has said he has no objection to government involvement in ownership.

Brochu is reported to have raised $60.1 million from private sources -- mainly in pieces of about $4.5 million. He said he gave the ownership committee a list of investors, but would not name them. A Montreal credit union is the only investor that has come forward.

Bronfman has reportedly received an offer of $135 million from a Miami-based group and investors in Buffalo are reported to have made an offer in the $100 million range.