Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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AC Milan transfer news: Saudi Arabian Grand Prix the venue for talks over selling stake to PIF

Talks will take place around this weekend’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in Jeddah between AC Milan officials and representatives of the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) about the sovereign fund taking an ownership stake in the club, according to reports.

Milan are currently owned by RedBird Capital Partners, led by American investor Gerry Cardinale, which took control of the club from the Elliott Management Corporation in 2022, with Elliott retaining a minority stake.

Cardinale still owes €550 million in vendor loans to Elliott, who lent him the money in order to complete the takeover, due by 2025.

It’s no secret that the Rossoneri owners have been seeking new funding in recent seasons with Cardinale keen on building a new stadium for the club.

Cardinale has been active in the Middle East recently and it’s now reported that he will sit down with PIF during this weekend’s Formula One event to discuss selling a stake.

Olivier Giroud AC Milan
© IMAGO – Olivier Giroud AC Milan

La Repubblica states that PIF are conducting “due diligence” regarding a deal for the storied Serie A club and that there is a period of exclusivity in place around the deal until the end of this month.

Milan have work to do in the transfer market this summer with Rafael Leao in big demand and the prospect of renewing the contract of Francesco Camarda facing them.

Saudi Arabian investments in sports

PIF is worth around $776 billion today and has been particularly active under Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, as part of his Vision 2030 initiative.

Amid accusations of “sports washing”, massive investments have taken place in the realm of professional sports.

F1, boxing, golf, WWE, and more have all come under Saudi Arabia’s influence in recent years and football is no different.

Rafael Leao Milan
© IMAGO – Rafael Leao Milan

Newcastle United are under PIF ownership in the Premier League and qualified for the Champions League last season after a huge outlay in the transfer market.

Ronaldo, Benzema and Neymar attracted to Saudi riches

Last year the Saudi Arabian sports ministry announced that PIF would take 75 percent control of four historic Saudi Pro League clubs. Al-Hilal, Al-Nassr, Al-Ittihad and Al-Ahli came under state ownership amid a flurry of big spending.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Sadio Mane, Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante, Riyad Mahrez and Roberto Firmino are among the biggest names to have been attracted to the riches on offer in Saudi Arabia since then.

The last two editions of the Italian Supercoppa, meanwhile, have taken place in the Saudi capital Riyadh.

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