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Indian tycoon to buy Racing Santander


Indian tycoon Ahsan Ali Syed plans to buy indebted Primera Liga side Racing Santander for between €30 and €40 million ($40-54 million), the Spanish press said on Thursday.

A deal could be wrapped up Monday, said El Diario Montanes, a regional daily paper in the northern Spanish region of Cantabria, whose capital is Santander.

"After studying options in different countries in the past months, we know that Racing fits our strategy because it is a well-managed club and has great long-term potential," Ali Syed was quoted as saying in a statement.

"Sport has always been a good investment oppportunity, especially if it is combined with passion and dreams. Football is not just an investment for me but also a personal passion. For that reason it has always been a dream of mine to own a football club and see my team play," he said.

Ali Syed, founder of Bahrain-based asset manager Western Gulf Advisory, would invest about 90 million euros in the next five years and pay 30-40 million euros for the purchase, the paper said.

The deal would be carried out through Dutch holding company WGA Sports Holding, B.V., Ali Syed was quoted as saying.

A spokesman at Racing Santander, which lies 14th in La Liga, was not immediately available to comment.

If Ali Syed completes the deal, with the expected backing of the Cantabrian regional government, he would be the second foreign magnate to own a Spanish club along with Qatar billionaire Abdullaha bin Nasser Al-Thani who bought Malaga in May for a reported sum of €25 million.