By Simon Evans

MANCHESTER (Reuters) – Asset manager Investcorp has entered into exclusive talks to purchase Italian club AC Milan, a source close to the deal told Reuters on Friday.

The source said the deal to buy the Serie A club from current owners Elliott Management Corporation was close to being completed.

Investcorp, which is domiciled in Bahrain and has offices globally, is an asset manager with lines of business including private equity, real estate, absolute return investments, infrastructure, credit management, and strategic capital. It manages over $42 billion in assets.

American firm Elliott Management Corporation took over seven-times European champions Milan in 2018.

Investcorp and Elliott would not comment when contacted by Reuters.

A spokesman for AC Milan told Reuters: “AC Milan remains focused on improving its performance on the pitch and to develop the club.”

Milan have won Serie A, Italy’s top flight league title, 18 times but not since 2011 — the club are currently top of the table.

Investcorp, whose executive chairman is Mohammed Alardhi, has offices in New York, London, Switzerland, Riyadh, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Mumbai, Beijing and Singapore.

The past decade has seen a number of top Italian clubs purchased by foreign investors.

Inter Milan are owned by Chinese company Suning Holdings Group and American company The Friedkin Group own AS Roma while Fiorentina and Atalanta are also American owned.

Middle Eastern investors have taken control of several top European clubs with Qatari Sports Investments owning Paris St Germain and Manchester City controlled by the Abu Dhabi United Group.

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund took a majority stake in Premier League club Newcastle United in October.

Investcorp Holdings is domiciled in the Kingdom of Bahrain as a Bahrain Shareholding Company but delisted from the Bahrain bourse last year.

(Reporting by Simon Evans, editing by John Stonestreet and Toby Davis)