Milan - A Chinese consortium with big
ambitious for AC Milan should complete a takeover of the seven-time European
champions within six to eight weeks, a broker acting for both parties said in
reports on Saturday.
If confirmed, it would prove a dramatic about-turn
for Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi, who only weeks ago said he would not sell a
majority share in the Serie A giants.
Former Italy Prime Minister Berlusconi has
reportedly turned his attention away from Thai businessman Bee Taechaubol, with
whom he has a preliminary agreement to release a minority stake in the Serie A
giants, and is now examining an offer that would see the club -- founded by
English lace-maker Herbert Kilpin in 1899 - fall into Chinese hands.
In an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport
on Saturday, the man brokering the deal between both parties - Italian-born
American Salvatore Galatioto -- said the deal could be sealed by the end of the
Galatioto, considered one of the 50 most
influential men in American sports, told the sports daily: "For obvious
reasons I can't reveal the names of the interested parties. All I can say is
that it is a very ambitious Chinese group which is very, very interested in the
"We have very interesting ideas and
projects pertaining to the club, but first we have to strike the deal.
"I would say that if things go to
plan, the deal could be concluded in six to eight weeks."
Galatioto, who owns the sports marketing
and business firm Galatioto Sports Partners, added: "We're talking about a
very important club that is known throughout the world. If it wasn't, we
wouldn't be involved.
"Milan is a great city, but above all
the AC Milan brand is fantastic.
"Fundamentally, my idea is to be the
perfect matchmaker, to find the right person who has strong belief in the
project and who, naturally, has the necessary economic and professional
credentials to be successful in the long term.
"I'm not just interested in profit. I
want to see a club be competitive in sporting as well as financial terms."
Reports on Friday suggested the bidder
could be either internet entrepreneur Robert Li or He Xiangjian, who made his
fortune in producing air conditioning. Both men are among the 10 richest in
China, according to the 2015 Forbes rich list.
Galatioto said his email account has been
"inundated" with positive messages from frustrated fans.
Milan will not play in the Champions League
for a third consecutive season in 2016-2017.
That failure cost Sinisa Mihajlovic his job
on Tuesday, the popular Serbian replaced by former youth team coach Cristian
Brocchi ahead of Sunday's trip to Sampdoria.Milan sit sixth and are one of several teams
fighting to qualify for the Europa League.