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Chinese group to buy AC Milan 'in six-to-eight-weeks'

AC Milan could be sold to a Chinese consortium "in six-to-eight-weeks", according to financial broker Salvatore Galatioto.

Thai businessman Bee Taechaubol has long been in talks regarding a takeover of the club but negotiations have hit stumbling blocks during recent months.

Club president Silvio Berlusconi was reported last month to have issued an ultimatum to 'Mr Bee' - who is claimed to have struggled to attract investors since the damage sustained by the Chinese stock market - informing him he must table a bid by the end of the season.

With those talks showing little sign of a breakthrough, an unnamed Chinese group now appears poised to purchase the club, with reports in Italy placing the fee between €600-€700 million.

Galatioto, president of Galatioto Sports Partners - a consultancy firm which has achieved great success with sporting franchises in the United States in the past - told La Gazzetta dello Sport: "For obvious reasons I cannot reveal who the potential buyer is. I can only say that it is a Chinese group that has big ambitions and that is very, very interested in the club.

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"We are talking about a very important club. If it were not, perhaps we would not be moving. It's known throughout the world. A beautiful city and, above all, a brand, that of AC Milan, which is fantastic."

When asked for a time frame over the takeover, he said: "I would say if things went the right way, anywhere from six to eight weeks.

"A former student of mine, who I prefer not to name, lives in Milan and is acting as a consultant in this transaction. We are well on track, but in these cases, it is better not to say too much.

"I think that an operation like this can bring great success to the club, my mailbox is full of messages of encouragement on the part of the Milanese club sympathisers. It's beautiful to touch the passion of the supporters of this team."

Milan, who sacked coach Sinisa Mihajlovic this week and placed Cristian Brocchi in interim charge, are sixth in Serie A with six matches to go.