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Dubai, Russian and US interest in AC Milan - reports

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Milan (AFP)

Dubai businessman Saeed Al-Falasi is reported to be interested in buying Italian giants AC Milan as the club struggles with debts under new Chinese owner Li Yonghong, according to reports on Thursday.

Gazzetta dello Sport reported that Emirati Al-Falasi, owner of the International Triangle group, and a member of the Al Maktoum family which rules Dubai, was among those interested in taking over the former European giants.

There is also interest from a United States-based fund and a Russian consortium led by the minority shareholder of Arsenal, the billionaire of Uzbek origin Alisher Usmanov, according to La Repubblica.

International Triangle, a group of companies which deals with real estate, construction and general trading, was established by Al-Falasi.

There have been questions about the financial stability of the Chinese-led consortium that purchased the club from Silvio Berlusconi for 740 million euros ($918mn) last April, spending more than 200 million euros on new players in the summer.

The seven-time European champions have a massive loan for repayment and are in trouble with Financial Fair Play restrictions, with Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML) given the mandate to refinance debts.

AC Milan are working to refinance more than 300 million euros in high-interest loans from US hedge fund Elliott Management. If the club is not able to refinance by next October the US hedge fund will seize control of the club.

Gazzetta also reported that European football's governing body UEFA could be ready to grant AC Milan an extension on the deadline for their settlement agreement with Financial Fair Play.

A meeting with UEFA has been set for next month and if the club's debt has not been refinanced by then they could be excluded from European competition.

AC Milan trail Arsenal 2-0 going into the second leg of their Europa League last-16 tie at the Emirates Stadium in London on Thursday.

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