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Feb 7, 2014

Erick Thohir denies DC United sale

Lazio's Brazilian midfielder Hernanes is the pick of this week's goals from Serie A.

Inter Milan president Erick Thohir on Friday denied rumours he is considering the sale of his share in DC United to raise funds for his current club.

Erick Thohir added Inter to his 'football portfolio' in October 2013.

"I would like to reaffirm the position of both D.C. United and F.C. Internazionale Milano as part of my football portfolio," Thohir said via statement. "These assets are integral parts of my international sports investment strategy and I look forward to growing both brands well into the future. "I deny, in no uncertain terms, recent media reports which indicated otherwise. "My commitment and dedication to both DCU and Inter is unwavering, and I am focused on producing results both on and off the pitch at both clubs."

According to the Italian business newspaper, Il Sole 24 Ore, Inter currently have debts of "around 200 million euros." The report alleged that Thohir was keen to keep his private funds and his business ventures apart, and would use the revenue from the sale of the Major League Soccer club to reduce that debt without touching his own money.

DC United, however, is in the process of negotiating a $300 million stadium deal with Washington, D.C. Should Thohir retain his investment in D.C. United until construction is complete, he would maximize the value of any proposed sale.

Apart from owning DC United and Inter, the media mogul also controls Indonesian club Persib Bandlung.

Thohir made his first material investment in the Serie A club, after purchasing a majority share from former president Massimo Moratti with two business partners, by signing Hernanes from Lazio for a fee which could rise to 20 million euros.

However, with the Nerazzurri currently sitting only in sixth place in Serie A and with Thohir already announcing his intention to reduce the average age of the side, more investment is due to follow in the summer.

Italian media reports also speculated that Thohir was keen on appointing one of DC United's top managers, Michael Williamson, to replace director of sport Marco Branca, who is to be relieved of his duties in the summer, according to reports in Italy.

Branca, under fire following the breakdown of negotiations with Juventus over a swap deal involving Fredy Guarin and Mirko Vucinic, has not been involved in the official unveilings of new arrivals Danilo D'Ambrosio and Ruben Botta in recent days, suggesting he is no longer required by the club.

Criticised for making several unsuccessful signings, a Facebook parody video of Branca is currently going viral in Italy.

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