Marquez joins bid to purchase ex-club Atlas

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Rafael Marquez might have said he wanted to end his career with Barcelona, but that apparently has not stopped him from wanting to rejoin the Mexican Primera Division at some point.

However, Marquez may do so as an owner, not a player.

Marquez has joined a group of investors seeking to purchase Atlas, Guadalajara daily Mural reported Wednesday. Marquez got his start with Atlas and shined there before heading to Monaco.

The group of potential owners also includes Mexican singer Alejandro Fernandez. According to Mural, Marquez sought out the group after reading about the potential purchase.

"After he read about it, he became interested," investor Guillermo Romo Jr. told the newspaper. "He looked for us, asked if he could talk to us and we met [on Monday] in Mexico City and came to an agreement. I love the idea that he is involved. He understands what Atlas means -- it's about the club he loves."

Romo is spearheading the group and with Fernandez and Marquez aboard the club appears to have some financial pull. Romo, 31, took charge of the family's tequila business -- Grupo Industrial Herradura -- at the age of 24 until the company's sale in 2007. He is now in charge of financial outfit Grupo Mega, and helped start up Americas Business Council, an independent and non-profit organization geared towards creating an international network of business leaders working to achieve sustainability in societies across North, Central and South America.

Also part of the ABC are Emilio Azcarraga, owner of Televisa and Club America, as well Jorge Vergara and Angelica Fuentes, who are in charge of Chivas.

According to Mural, Atlas is in debt roughly 150 million Mexican pesos (about $11.5 million) and players have had problems getting paid. Several players are going on two months now without having received a paycheck, according to Mural.

The bid by Romo, Marquez and Fernandez is one of two such attempts seeking to purchase Atlas, whose only Mexican league title came back in the 1950s.