Vivendi's Universal Music Group is set to buy EMI's recorded-music unit for $1.9 billion, while a group led by Sony's music division will buy the publishing operation of the British music company for $2.2 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

Citigroup Inc, which owns EMI, could announce the deals, valued at $4.1 billion in total, later on Friday or wait until the weekend, the report said, citing a person familiar with the matter.

Earlier in the day, a source told Reuters that Universal Music, the world's largest music company, is closing in on a deal for the music unit of the debt-laden EMI.

Citigroup and Vivendi declined to comment on the matter.

According to a Financial Times report on Friday, discussions between Universal and Citigroup have overcome a significant stumbling block after the bank agreed to take on EMI's pension liabilities.

The paper's sources said the deal might yet fall apart or be broken up by a late counter-offer by billionaire Len Blavatnik, who owns EMI's rival Warner Music.

Universal Music resumed talks to buy EMI's music labels, after pulling out in a dispute with Citigroup over EMI's pension liabilities.

(Reporting by Kate Holton in London, Elena Berton and Gwenaelle Barzic in Paris, Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bangalore; Editing by Will Waterman, Dan Lalor, Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)