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Indonesia’s Erick Thohir closes in on Inter stake

Erick Thohir

Erick Thohir

Indonesian tycoon Erick Thohir appears close to clinching a deal to buy a 75 per cent stake in Inter for around €350 million ($463 million), Italian media reported yesterday.

Thohir and Massimo Moratti, owner of the cash-strapped Italian club, had been in talks about a potential deal for months but negotiations were now in the final stage, La Repubblica daily and sports paper La Gazzetta dello Sport said.

The two papers said Thohir would be heading to Milan in the next few days, although neither Moratti nor the 43-year-old Indonesian media and entertainment magnate commented on the move.

When contacted by Reuters over the weekend and asked about previous reports that he had agreed to pay €300 million for a 75 per cent stake in the club, Thohir said in a text message: “Not yet, wish me luck.”

Thohir already has an interest in a number of global sporting ventures, being part owner of MLS club DC United and the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA.

A press officer for Inter said he knew nothing of the talks.

Moratti had previously said that he was not ready to sell a majority interest in the club, which is loss making and has debts of around €300 million.

Last week, he downplayed reports that a deal was in sight, saying he had read about it in the papers.

Inter are traditionally one of the three biggest clubs in Italian soccer along with champions Juventus and city rivals Milan.

According to the media reports, Moratti would be left in charge of operational management of the club after the takeover.

Inter have not won a trophy since 2010 and finished last season in a disappointing ninth place, missing out on a place in the lucrative Champions League.

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