David Tepper, a billionaire hedge fund manager, is considered a top contender to buy the club, a high-ranking team source told Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network.
Last week, the Charlotte Observer reported that South Carolina businessman Ben Navarro is a serious bidder for the team, although Garafolo quoted another source that called Tepper the "leader in the clubhouse."
Per the latest report, Tepper, 60, has a net worth estimated at $11 billion by Forbes Magazine. The founder of Appaloosa Management, Tepper owns a five-percent share in the Steelers, which he would have to sell in order to buy the Panthers.
Carolina owner and founder Jerry Richardson announced in mid-December that he was putting the team up for sale in the wake of allegations of workplace misconduct made against him. The NFL is investigating the matter.
Richardson, 81, who played for the Baltimore Colts in 1959-60, became the first former NFL player since George Halas to own an NFL team when he was awarded an expansion franchise on Oct. 26, 1993.