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Berlusconi agrees AC Milan sale

Silvio Berlusconi has moved a step closer to selling a 48 per cent stake in AC Milan to Bee Taechaubol, with an agreement reached to enter an eight-week period of exclusivity for negotiations.

Thai businessman Taechaubol has long since been linked with acquiring a share of the Serie A giants and the Rossoneri announced a breakthrough has been made in a statement on the Italian club's official website.

Under the arrangement, Berlusconi is set to remain as president while his holding company Fininvest would retain a majority 52 per cent share of the club.

"President Silvio Berlusconi has approved the agreement signed by the Fininvest managing director Pasquale Cannatelli and Mr Bee Taechaubol that plans to negotiate exclusively for a period of eight weeks over a partnership with AC Milan," the statement read.

"During this time, Silvio Berlusconi, who will continue to remain as President, and Mr Taechaubol will work together on a great and ambitious economic and sporting project to take Milan back to the highest levels of Italian and international football that are in line with the club's history, prestige and results.

"As part of this, the draft agreement, which will be examined in detail, foresees that control of the club remains in the hands of president Silvio Berlusconi and Fininvest, which will have an absolute majority share of 52 per cent. The consortium represented by Mr Taechaubol will acquire instead a minority stake of 48 per cent.

"The draft agreement has as its objective the promotion and commercialisation of the AC Milan brand, in particular in Asian countries, in order to receive a large boost in revenue and consequently the financial resources needed to take, thanks to a decisive technical and sporting project, AC Milan back to competing with the established clubs in world football."

Milan are one of the most famous clubs in world football, but have struggled to compete in the upper echelons of Serie A in recent seasons and finished 10th under Filippo Inzaghi last seaosn, after a difficult 2014-15 campaign.

Speaking on the proposed deal, which is reported to be worth €500million, Taechaubol told La Repubblica: "It is not the end of the Berlusconi era.

"Berlusconi is the man who made Milan great and will always remain tied to the club. It's not true that he is no longer interested in the team. The troubled negotiation process proves the exact opposite.

"Milan have a fundamentally Italian soul and are a brand of Italian excellence. This must not change. It would be absurd to have a sky box full of Asian directors, as the club would lose its identity."