‘Exclusive’ Chinese talks pave way for AC Milan takeover

Wednesday, 11 May 2016 00:19 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

AFP: AC Milan moved a step closer to a takeover after the struggling Serie A giants announced the start of “exclusive negotiating rights” with Chinese investors on Tuesday.DFT-24-42

Club owner Silvio Berlusconi said last week he was open to selling a majority stake in the fallen seven-time European champions, with a preference to keep the club “in Italian hands”.

But following the recent collapse of talks with Thai businessman Bee Taechaubol, a statement by Milan on their official website www.acmilan.com suggested Berlusconi’s holding company Fininvest is now ready to begin serious negotiations with a Chinese consortium.

“Fininvest has reached an agreement with a group of Chinese investors in establishing exclusive negotiating rights for the sale of shares of AC Milan,” said the statement.

“A memorandum of understanding has also been signed which will act as a starting point for more in-depth negotiations to take place.

“The exclusive negotiating rights have been established to be compatible with the complexities of the talks, the needs of the club and the appointments scheduled in the footballing calendar.”

Milan, who last won Serie A’s ‘scudetto’ in 2011 under current Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri, host Roma in their final game of the season on Sunday looking for a win that could help them seal European football next season.

But it is a reflection of Milan’s failure to invest in top players, and their on-field woes, that they are now merely fighting to qualify for the Europa League -- instead of the Champions League they dominated with some of the world’s top players in Berlusconi’s 1990s heyday.