Manchester City's Abu Dhabi owners are interested in buying a 40 per cent share in Italian giants AC Milan, the Corriere della Sera reported yesterday.
"The Abu Dhabi United Group for Development and Investment (ADUG) wants to buy 40 per cent of AC Milan's shares, injecting €500 million (Dh2.3 billion) into the club's coffers," the newspaper said.
AC Milan, owned by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, issued a denial of the report on the club website, saying there was no truth to it.
Corriere della Sera said that ADUG owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan already owned five per cent of Mediaset, the Berlusconi's TV company.
The paper said that although Berlusconi has always insisted that his involvement with AC Milan was not financially driven, it appeared that the go-ahead had been given to enter into talks with ADUG representatives.
AC Milan's €210m budget is the biggest for an Italian club, but they had €32m of losses last year and Berlusconi was said to be growing tired of having to finance the side.
Berlusconi's daughter Marina, the president of the family holding Fininvest, was also said to be unhappy with the financial losses incurred by AC Milan, who are currently playing second fiddle in Italian football to rivals Inter Milan.
The ADUG group completed the purchase of Manchester City on September 1 and were behind a much publicised but unsuccessful transfer bid for AC Milan's star player, Brazilian midfielder Kaka.