Saturday April 23 2016
Suning-Inter talks intensify

Suning Group President Zhang Jindong had dinner with Inter President Erick Thohir and Massimo Moratti amid reports he’ll buy a majority share.

The Chinese investors had visited the Appiano Gentile training ground on Friday afternoon and met with the team.

They then went to dinner at the Moratti family villa in Imbersago, where the guest list was a who’s who of Inter.

According to news agency Ansa, those present included former patron Moratti (who still owns 29.5 per cent), current President Thohir, Vice-President Javier Zanetti, CEO Michael Bolingbroke, Chief Football Administrator Giovanni Gardini and CFO Michael Williamson.

Suning Commerce Group were represented by President Zhang Jindong and another 11 directors.

Forbes lists him as one of the 30 richest men in China with a net worth of $3.9bn (€3.47bn).

The Suning delegation is also expected to be at tonight’s Inter-Udinese Serie A match at San Siro.

It has until now been reported negotiations are for 20 per cent of Inter, valued at between €70m and €80m, but La Gazzetta dello Sport claims today that Suning Group are intent on buying the club outright.

If Thohir doesn’t sell immediately, it would be 20 per cent in November to pave the way for a full exit in two to three years.

The newspaper suggests Thohir is eager to invest elsewhere and is looking to England instead.

The Indonesian businessman is believed to be frustrated by Italian red tape, which scuppered plans both Inter and Milan had to build their own stadiums.

Potential clubs to invest in include West Bromwich Albion, Fulham and QPR.