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Palermo president set to sell to Chinese investors

608   //    06 Oct 2016, 01:56 IST
The Chinese are eyeing Italy with deep interest

MILAN (Reuters) - Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini is set to sell a majority stake in the club to a Chinese state fund, who would invest 200 million euros in the Sicilian team, he said on Wednesday.

The 75-year-old businessman, who has overseen around 35 coaching changes since he took over in 2002, first announced last March that he wanted to sell the Serie A club.

"Am I selling Palermo to the Chinese? No, I'm bringing the Chinese to Palermo," Zamparini told Rai Radio 1 in an interview.

"They would become majority shareholders with me as a minority investor. Within two months, we should have a final agreement with the Chinese via a state fund," he said.

"We are in talks where they would invest 200 million euros ($224.12 million)," he added.

Zamparini said that 150 million euros would be spent on building the club their own stadium, 30 million will be for a new training centre and 20 million a "surprise".

"We need people who bring finance, who bring capital," he added.

Palermo narrowly survived relegation in May after an extraordinary season in which they employed seven different coaches, two of them twice.

They have already changed coach once this season with Roberto De Zerbi replacing Davide Ballardini.

Palermo were in Serie B when Zamparini took over in 2002 and won promotion in 2003-04 after a 30-year wait.

After that, they routinely finished in the top half of the table, qualified for the UEFA Cup several times and had four players in Italy's 2006 World Cup winning squad.

Palermo were relegated in 2013 but returned to the top flight at the first attempt.

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