Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti says talks over the sale of a substantial share in the Serie A club to Indonesian media mogul Erick Thohir are advancing, but that a deal has not yet been struck.
Moratti owns around 90% of the Serie A club and has been approached by Thohir, who is keen on investing in the 2010 Champions League winners. A deal which would see the Indonesian businessman initially take 40%, rising to a majority stake in the coming years, was reported as being close to completion at the weekend.
That is not the case, according to Moratti, who is nevertheless optimistic that an agreement will be reached in the coming days. "Everybody is taking it for granted and, as a fan of this club, I believe it will happen, but there is little truth to what I have read (in the papers)," he said to Sky Sport Italia. "I believe there will be some more meetings this week, but we are still a long way off concluding."
Thohir, 43, is head of several media groups in Indonesia and is also majority owner of the Major League Soccer club D.C. United, having previously taken control of USA basketball club the Philadelphia 76ers.
He is keen on expanding his portfolio of sports clubs by acquiring Inter, although he is understood only to want a majority share. Moratti, who has been Inter's president since 1995, has shown a reluctance in relinquishing total control of the club, however.
A significant investment would help in Moratti's quest to rebuild a competitive side after Inter missed out on a place in Europe for the first time since 1999 last season, but he insists the squad will be strengthened for coach Walter Mazzarri regardless of whether a deal with Thohir is reached.
"Our transfer dealings have nothing to do with this, just to make that clear," he added.