AC Milan is not for sale, according to the Serie A club's holding company Fininvest, part of Silvio Berlusconi's personal portfolio.
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Bloomberg reported on Wednesday that Lazard Ltd, who recently brokered the sale of Inter Milan from Massimo Moratti to Erick Thohir, had been appointed by Milan to seek out potential investors. The club, valued by Forbes at $945 million, is reported to have given Lazard investment information to be passed on to interested parties.
Fininvest immediately denied the report, first telling Bloomberg that it was untrue and then following up with an official announcement on Wednesday night.
"Despite the numerous denials, rumours of a possible sale of Milan continue to circulate," the official statement read. "Fininvest reaffirms once again that these rumours are totally unfounded."
It is not the first time Berlusconi has been linked with a sale of the Rossoneri. Albanian oil tycoon Rezart Taci was reported to have offered 700 million euros for the club back in 2009. Fininvest denied that approach with a similarly firm statement.
Milan are currently 10th in Serie A, one of their lowest positions since Berlusconi became president in 1986. Their future in the Champions League will be decided when they travel to Atletico Madrid in the second leg of their last-16 tie next week, with the Spaniards having won the first leg 1-0 in Milan.
With a deficit a 17-point gap to third-placed Napoli with 12 games of the Serie A season remaining, a return to the Champions League in 2014-15 is looking unlikely.