The American mediator Salvatore Galatioto says that AC Milan could be sold “in six to eight weeks to a Chinese group that has big ambitions.”
After negotiations with ‘Mr Bee’ Taechaubol broke down, Milan President Silvio Berlusconi is considering selling controlling interest in the club to Chinese investors.
“We are talking about a very important club, known all over the world, and if it weren’t we wouldn’t be getting involved,” Galatioto told La Gazzetta dello Sport in New York.
“It’s also a splendid city and above all a fantastic brand, that of ‘AC Milan.’
“For obvious reasons I cannot reveal who the potential buyer is. I can only say it’s a Chinese group that has big ambitions and is very, very interested in the club.
“People of the top level belong to this project, we have some very interesting ideas and plans, but first we must conclude the operation.
“I think if things go in the right direction, we could conclude the deal in six to eight weeks.
“We are already in good shape, but in these cases it’s best not to get ahead of ourselves.”
The former Lehman Brothers representative was named one of the 50 most influential people in American sport by the Street & Smith Sports Business Journal in 2010 and as an advisor helped more than 70 changes of club ownership with his Galatioto Sports Partners.
“It’s not enough just to consider the economic aspect, which naturally is important, but we must also look at the future of the franchises and think of their success.
“I cannot get into specifics, but we worked with several Premier League teams as advisors to optimise and versify their profits.
“The idea is to make clubs as profitable as possible over time, to create a solid economic base that can then provide results on the pitch.
“Essentially my plan is to produce a perfect match-making service, to find the right person who firmly believes in a project and naturally has all the credentials, economically and professionally, to have long-term success.
“I don’t want my name to only be associated with profit, as I am interested in making a club competitive both on a sporting and financial level.
“Developing a winning brand is the objective. The success of our important clients, like the Yankees or the Warriors, makes me very proud.”
The sale of Milan by Berlusconi to Chinese investors, combined with Indonesian businessman Erick Thohir owning city rivals Inter, would mean that both Milan clubs would be under Asian ownership.
It would he fascinating to see how Milan retools over the summer if a new investment group comes in. Will they throw money around to buy big names or will they also invest in building up the infrastructure of the club and its academy, two areas that Berlusconi has neglected in recent times?