An Egyptian billionaire has emerged as the favorite with Italian bookmakers to take over AS Roma.

Roma is virtually certain to be sold to new owners due to the fact that the club's parent company, Italpetroli, possess debts in the region of $570 million.

Earlier this week this was all but confirmed when administrative delegate Rosella Sensi seemed to deliver a farewell message on behalf of her father, President Franco Sensi.

Until recently American billionaires George Soros and John Fisher, as well as the Emir of Dubai, had all been the main names linked with a takeover.

But a new name has emerged: Egyptian billionaire Naguib Onsi Sawiris, chairman of Italian telecom operator Wind.

Wind, which is one of the four mobile phone companies which operates in the peninsula, is already the main sponsor of Roma.

Sawiris is estimated to be worth $19.6 billion, and the bookmakers have him ahead of second and third favorites Fisher and Soros, respectively.

SportItalia owner Tarak Ben Ammar is fourth favorite, while the Sheikh of Dubai, Al Maktoum, is fifth in the bidding.

Also according to reports in Italy, Sawiris has promised that Sensi will remain at the club in a managerial role when the takeover is completed.

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