AC Milan to appoint former Inter, Juve general manager Marco Fassone
AC Milan are to appoint former Juventus and Inter Milan chief Marco Fassone as their new general manager and executive director once their takeover is complete.
A Chinese consortium reached an agreement with current president Silvio Berlusconi's Fininvest group last week and the paperwork is currently being drawn up to finalise the first change of ownership of the Italian club in over 30 years.
Once that goes through, with a deadline set for the end of 2016, structural changes can be carried out and the appointment of Fassone as a replacement for Adriano Galliani is one of the first steps the new owners are keen to take.
"Marco Fassone will be the new general manager and executive director of Milan, once the transfer of the ownership from Fininvest to the Sino-Europe Sports Investment Management Changxing is complete," said the new owners in a statement published in China and reported by La Gazzetta dello Sport.
"Fassone has already filled managerial roles in several clubs in Italy, in particular Juventus, Napoli and Inter. We are determined to take the club back to the top of European football and we express our gratitude to Silvio Berlusconi, the president and majority shareholder of Milan, who recently met the Sino-Europe president Li Yonghong.
"Li Yonghong deeply appreciates the glorious history of Milan and he views the sports industry in Europe and in China with optimism, and he sincerely wants to support Milan in its rise."
Fassone also confirmed the news to Reuters in a text message, which read: "I confirm that after the closing (of the deal) I will be chief executive and director general of AC Milan."
Born in Pinerolo, near Turin, Fassone became Juventus' marketing manager in 2003, before becoming executive director for stadium, marketing and sales before moving to Napoli as general manager in 2010 and then Inter between 2012 and September 2015.
Ahead of his departure Berlusconi has wished the club well for the future in an open letter and spoke of his trust that the new owners will return the Rossoneri to former glories.
Berlusconi wrote: "Thirty years ago I bought Milan as an act of love. I'm selling for an act of even greater love: I'm entrusting the team to a group which has the necessary resources and the will to invest to bring Milan back to competing with the big international clubs.
Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.