KUALA LUMPUR, June 14 — Johor Crown Prince (TMJ) Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim is said to have been approached by the Italian Seria A club, AC Milan, to become the club’s minor shareholder.
According to Italian media reports, AC Milan president Yonghong Li had approached a Malaysian Malay to buy a stake in the club.
However, there was no official confirmation if the person of ‘Malay origin’ quoted by Italian media is Tunku Ismail who is also Johor Darul Ta’zim’s (JDT) owner.
“The prince is looking for Milan. The search continues for the name of the partner to support Li Yonghong in the management of the Via Aldo Rossi company, starting from a minority partner, in the future, perhaps, the club’s president,” the PremiumSportHD reported Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Italy’s football news site, www.calciomercato.com stated that Milan was set to be taken over by investors from American multinational company Goldman Sachs.
Chinese owner Li took over the club, nicknamed as The Rossoneri, in the summer of 2016 following the departure of former Italian Primer Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
Despite spending over €150 million (RM698 million) on players last summer the club’s performance was disappointing as Milan finished sixth in the Serie A, besides being knocked out from the Europa League after a 1-5 aggregate defeat to Arsenal in Round of 16.
Two years ago, there were also talks that Tunku Ismail had shown interest in the club after reports emerged that the former Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) President was keen to buy a stake in the 18-time Serie A winning side. However, the crown prince later denied the news.
In an interview with Singapore’s Straits Times on April 2016, TMJ said: “I am planning to buy AC Milan but we’ll see how it goes. I love Milan and I have always loved Italian clubs since I was young...The (focus) is always JDT but if I could buy a club in Europe, it will be AC Milan.” — Bernama