Chinese investor in talks to take over Spanish club Malaga
Malaga (Spain), May 1 (IANS) A Chinese consortium nicknamed 'Intellectually Manufactured in China' is in talks with Spanish football club Malaga to purchase 95 percent of the La Liga club's share.
China's 'Sports Weekly' reported on Friday that an anonymous consortium will take over Malaga by holding 95 percent of shares, leaving the remaining five percent to smallholders including former Real Madrid defender Fernando Hierro.
In the next three years, a Chinese sports management company will cooperate with a Spanish top agent company to boost the club to reach Champions League calibre. The consortium is planning to build a world class sports complex with a youth training base.
The base will provide training and internship for Chinese coaches. Then top Chinese players will be selected to join the club's senior and youth teams. In the long run, Malaga can help Chinese football improve on training programme and talent storage.
The two sides are trying to keep the negotiation secret. Malaga manager Vicente Casado confirmed the negotiation is underway and the takeover is quite likely to take place in the early summer, according to reports.
Real Madrid forward Isco, who grew up in Malaga's youth training programme, is excited to hear the Malaga deal.
"I will never forget where I'm from. I honestly hope the transaction can make a success and I believe the Chinese businessman is quite wise to choose Malaga as the takeover target," said Isco on Friday.
Malaga's best-paid player only earns about one million euros but the squad boasts as a club to defeat Barcelona in Camp Nou this season and are ranked seventh in La Liga, six points behind sixth-placed Villareal and a step away from European competition.
La Gazzetta dello Sport reported last week that Italian club AC Milan's owner Silvio Berlusconi is preparing to weigh two separate offers that could see a majority stake in the Serie A giants sold to either a Thai or Hong Kong businessman.
The Chinese consortium is favoured in nailing the deal than its Thai contestant.
Also last week, an English daily reported that a wealthy Chinese consortium plans to complete a takeover of Premier League club Aston Villa immediately after the FA Cup final slated for May 30.
A Chinese company is also in a deal to buy historic French club FC Sochaux, which could be completed in May. Tech Pro Technology Development, a Hong Kong-listed electrical components manufacturer, would pay seven million euros for the 87-year-old club. The deal could be finalised in May.
Earlier this month, Wanda Group became the official owner of 20 percent stake in La Liga champions Atletico Madrid. In February, Wanda acquired Swiss sports marketing company Infront Sports & Media in a deal valued at about 1.05 billion euros.
In January, China's United Vansen International Sports Corporation made it public that they had almost finished the purchase of Dutch club Alles Door Oefening Den Haag.