Reports have emerged suggesting that Alibaba Group Holdings is negotiating with Silvio Berlusconi for the purchase of Milan. The news comes hot on the heels of news that Chinese investors were keen on buying Milan, and while both parties have denied that a deal is in progress, reports continue to insist that either Alibaba Group or a group involving Chinese telecom giants Hutchison Whampoa are working hard to finalize a potential deal.
Jack Ma, the chairmen of Alibaba is is currently ranked as the 18th richest man in the world and is believed to be worth around €24.1 billion. Ma is also the co-owner of Guangzhou Evergrande, one of the most popular and successful clubs in China. It seems he is now looking to invest in European football as well and that Milan is the club that he's set his sights on. Hutchison Whampoa were reported to be worth nearly €50 billion in 2014, and already have significant operations in Europe, including the ubiquitous "3" mobile phone carrier brand.
It's safe to say that the money involved and the seriousness of the news is on a rather larger scale than it ever was when Mr. Bee was flirting with the club.
Reports indicate that a deal could cost between €700 and €720 million. This could see Alibaba acquire a 70% stake in the club immediately, as well as the remaining 30% within a year. It is also believed that Marcello Lippi will be involved as well, with the World Cup winning manager taking over as technical director for the Rossoneri.
If true, whichever group takes over would also allegedly look to build a new stadium owned by Milan, replacing the municipal owned San Siro. The same reports suggest that a deal could be completed by mid-June and all that awaits is the go-ahead from Berlusconi himself. Following yet another terrible result at the weekend, news of a potential sale couldn't have come sooner for Milanisti.