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Saudi Arabia group linked with Roma takeover

A report from Il Corriere dello Sport claims that Roma owners the Friedkins are set to meet with Saudi investors over a possible sale of the club. The American based owners originally purchased the club in 2020, taking over from James Pallotta in a €591m deal.

Corriere dello Sport report that a Saudi based group are interested in acquiring the Giallorossi, with Friedkins set to meet with the potential buyers to understand the ‘concreteness’ of their offer.

The meeting could take place as early as Wednesday this week, when the team will be preparing to face Monza in Serie A. The location is reportedly ‘top-secret’ and Corriere claim that ‘things are in the works.’

According to the report, there are two potential figures who are acting as intermediaries and perhaps as possible frontmen, who have been collecting expressions of interest from an Arab group in Riyadh. Corriere also point to a ‘monstrous’ offer that was made to Roma coach Jose Mourinho – €120 million in two years to coach the national team or one of the two clubs in the capital, which may have played a part in the talks. A relevant role in the operation is played by Raffaello Follieri, an ‘unscrupulous’ businessman from Puglia, who in past years has already tried to purchase Palermo, Catania and Foggia.

Follieri’s links with the deal has already bought skepticism, given his past dealings which included an investigation into a $2 million scam which pertained to nonexistent friendships at the Holy See and convincing  several entrepreneurs to invest large sums of money for a business that turned out to be flimsy. He plea-bargained for the charge and spent four and a half years in a Pennsylvania prison, paying $3.6 million to the victims of the scam.

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