Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti is on the threshold of selling 70% of the club to Indonesian business magnate Erick Thohir for a reported €300 million.
Moratti, who previously played down reports of a potential sale, is said to have been locked in talks with Thohir for some time.
The development comes amid warnings from former Inter president Ernesto Pellegrini that “the Indonesian is only interested in business”.
But Moratti believes that Inter have fallen behind their European rivals in the global market place, losing in their gamble to “play entirely at home”, and need “serious innovation” to again return the club to its glory days.
“What I’m worried about is the future of the club. Irrespective of the building of the brand on the international marketplace,” Moratti told Gazzetta dello Sport.
“Look, for years Italian football – and I must take a fair share of the blame – won on the pitch in Europe, but, in financial terms, we played entirely at home. And we’ve lost. (Italian) Football has been living off money from TV rights and impressive transfer dealings.
“But today we find ourselves unable to create a system. We have outdated stadia, no format that can realistically attract world-wide interest. Building a solid market outside Italy is a long process. A difficult and costly process. And we are up against tough opposition. The arrival of a shareholder from Asia, for example, makes that market much more approachable.
“Inter will (now) be managed in a modern, international fashion.”
Moratti said he could understand the apprehension from some of the club’s supporters – even the criticism from Pellegrini – but he maintained Inter must remain focused on the ‘future.
“I understand the fans very well," he said. "My first thoughts are for them because Inter belongs to those who love the club. Believe me; I’m doing this for them. I also understand Pellegrini’s position.
“(But) This club is worth a lot more than its turnover suggests. It has to develop its brand on an international level if it wants to have a future to match its tradition.”