Yankees, a Los Angeles fund invests in the AC Milan football team

ROME – The New York Yankees and Los Angeles-based fund that includes LeBron James are investing in AC Milan alongside RedBird Capital Partners, who are set to strike a deal to buy the Italian soccer champion for 1.2 billion euros ($1.2 billion), the Financial Times reported on Tuesday.

Gerry Cardinale, the founder and managing partner of RedBird, announced in June a preliminary agreement to buy Milan from fellow American Elliott Management, with closing expected in September.

Officials close to RedBird would not comment on the latest report when contacted by The Associated Press, but said an announcement would be made in the coming days. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the final deal has yet to be announced.

Seven-time European champions Milan have just won their first Italian title in 11 years.

The 27-time World Series champion Yankees are already involved in football as co-owners with Manchester City of New York City FC in Major League Soccer. New York City FC plays some of its home games at Yankee Stadium.

Main Street Advisors, the James-backed fund, also counts rapper Drake among its partners, as well as English Premier League club Liverpool and the Boston Red Sox.

James and Drake will be passive investors in Milan through the fund and have not taken direct stakes, the newspaper reported.

RedBird also has a stake in Fenway Sports Group, which owns Liverpool and the Red Sox. Champions League rules prohibit two clubs in the competition from being owned by the same owner in order to protect the integrity of matches on the pitch. UEFA will likely have to pass judgment on the extent of RedBird’s influence on decision-making at Liverpool.

RedBird is set to become Milan’s fourth owner in five years.

Elliott has owned Milan since 2018 after the club’s former Chinese owner defaulted on part of a loan. Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi controlled Milan for more than 30 years before selling it to the Chinese group in 2017.

Inter Milan, Roma, Fiorentina and Bologna are among the other foreign sides in Serie A.

After failing to qualify for Europe’s elite competition for seven consecutive years – which included a one-year ban from UEFA for breaching financial supervision rules – Milan are playing in the Champions League for a second successive season. . This can net the club around €100m ($100m) in UEFA prize money and help restore the club’s global brand.

Milan’s squad includes 40-year-old Zlatan Ibrahimović and teammate Olivier Giroud.

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AP Sports Writer Graham Dunbar in Geneva contributed.

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Andrew Dampf is at https://twitter.com/AndrewDampf

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