Steve Cohen closes in on buying Mets

For the second time in nine months, Steve Cohen is ready to buy the Mets.

Multiple sources confirmed to The Post late Friday night that the hedge fund billionaire is in exclusive talks to buy the Mets in a deal that is rumored to be in the ballpark of $2.4 billion, a figure that would be roughly $200 million less than what the $14 billion man offered the last time he agreed to buy the team, all the way back in December 2019.

Final bids on the team were due Monday, but according to insiders, Mets president and co-owner Saul Katz played a key role in pushing for talks with Cohen to start as soon as possible once it became clear his bid was the highest.

“Saul wants this done,” said a source. “It was always going to be Cohen.”

Another source told The Post that Cohen’s bid was at least $100 million more than the next closest bid submitted by former Yankee Alex Rodriguez and entertainer Jennifer Lopez, who announced they had pulled out of the process in a statement.

Steve CohenGetty Images

“The consortium led by Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez has informed the Mets that they are no longer pursuing the acquisition of the team,” the statement read. “The consortium, which included Vincent Viola, Mike Repole, and Marc Lore had submitted a fully funded offer at a record price for the team which was supported by binding debit commitments from JP Morgan and equity commitment letters from creditworthy partners.”

Cohen saw a deal with the Wilpons fall through in February because the current owners wanted to maintain organizational control for five years. Team COO Jeff Wilpon, who complicated the initial deal with Cohen, was not part of negotiations the second time around, The Post reported.

Because things got so acrimonious in February, the new bid is thought to have structures in place to prevent any late drama.

“No one is going through February again,” said an insider. “This deal will close in days and then wait for [MLB] owner approval in November.”

Another group, led by 76ers and Devils owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer, is now also out of the running.

Lopez expressed her disappointment on Twitter.

“Alex and I are so disappointed!!” she wrote. “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 favorite Major League Baseball team with her own hard earned money. We still haven’t given up!! #NYForever”

And a source close to the J-Rod bid is not giving up hope.

Alluding to the possibility that Cohen might have trouble getting approved by MLB owners thanks to past troubles with the SEC and workplace discrimination allegations filed against his hedge fund, the J-Rod ally told The Post, “It’s over for now., but let’s see if he can get approved.”