AC Milan owner Li Yonghong has reportedly pulled the plug on his proposed sale of the club to American billionaire and New York Cosmos owner Rocco Commisso after seemingly changing his mind over the terms of the deal.
It was believed that a sale worth €500m, plus €380m to cover a loan with interest to Li from Elliot Management, was close to being agreed. Li had completed a €740m takeover of Milan in 2016 in a deal that was financially aided by an Elliot Management loan.
The deal with Commisso apparently would have allowed Li to maintain a 15%-20% stake in the club, but reports from Italy have explained that the Chinese businessman changed his mind and asked to control up to 30% of the club instead. That is said to have angered Commisso.
Commisso, who made his fortune as founder of Mediacom, one of the largest cable television companies in America, has been tipped to now walk away altogether.
Li has an October deadline to repay the €380m he owes Elliot Management, but it has been said that the American investment firm would own 100 per cent of the club should he fail to come up with the money in time. There is also a July deadline to repay a separate €32m to Elliot.
The initial value of the Elliot loan was €303m, inflated by interest, meaning the company would own Milan having paid out just a fraction of what the club was bought for two years ago. That has led some to suggest they are pulling the strings and told Li to reject the Commisso deal.
In theory, Elliot could go on to make an enormous profit by reselling Milan at market value.