Football: Berlusconi considers Asian offers for AC Milan takeover

MILAN (AFP) - AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi is preparing to weigh up two separate offers for the club that could see a majority stake in the Italian Serie A giants sold to either a Thai or Hong Kong businessman, reports said Thursday.

Speculation surrounding the eventual sale of the seven-time European champions has intensified in the past year amid the club's struggle to keep up with the pace in Serie A, and their recurring failure to qualify for Europe.

Berlusconi was earlier this month quoted as saying he had agreed terms on selling a 75 per cent holding in the club to a consortium with close ties to the Chinese government.

A month previously, reports claimed Berlusconi had signed a preliminary agreement to sell 30 per cent of the club to Thai businessman Bee Taechaubol at the end of May for 250 million euros (S$361 million).

La Gazzetta dello Sport on Thursday reported the two-time Italian prime minister Berlusconi is moving closer towards selling a majority stake in the club, with Taechaubol - known as Mr. Bee - and Richard Lee, a Hong Kong businessman representing a Chinese-led consortium, leading the race.

If the deal were to go through, Milan would become the second Serie A club to be sold to Asian investors. Indonesian tycoon Erick Thohir bought a 70 per cent stake in Inter Milan in November 2013.