Saudi Public Investment Fund targeting €1bn Inter takeover

The Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund, backed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is prepared to buy Inter from cash-strapped Steven Zhang for €1bn, only days after completing the takeover of Newcastle United.

The consortium was finally given the green light to complete their takeover of the Magpies last week, purchasing the club from Mike Ashley for £300m and bringing an end to the unpopular owner’s 14-year spell on Tyneside.

Steven Zhang
Steven Zhang is running up huge debts at Inter / Marco Canoniero/GettyImages

But the PIF is not ready to stop there, and has already laid plans to spread their wealth into Serie A. According to Calciomercato, the Saudi-backed investment group wants to add Inter to its portfolio, and has already met with current owner Zhang over a possible €1bn takeover.

Zhang and the Suning group are accumulating huge debts in Milan, and due to impositions put in place by the Chinese government and a general lack of funds, that situation is unlikely to improve under their ownership.

Inter survived the summer by selling two of their biggest assets in Romelu Lukaku and Achraf Hakimi, but the likelihood is that they will have to continue gutting their squad in January and the following summer, rather than build a stronger team.

This seemingly endless cycle has made the Suning ownership extremely unpopular with Inter fans, despite delivering their first scudetto in 11 years. So, either the owners resolve their current predicament, which in the short-term is incredibly complicated, or they sell the club.

The Public Investment Fund wants to buy Inter from the current owners, and according to some sources, an agreement over a €1bn takeover is in place. The Libero newspaper states that the word in the financial circles is that the two parties have come to an understanding after meeting in mid-September to discuss a takeover.

However, it is also reported that Zhang is reluctant to sell the Nerazzurri before achieving his ambition of building a brand new stadium for his club, which as of yet, has not been approved.

This deal could cause controversy in Italy, given the fight that was put up in England to stop their purchase of Newcastle, amid concerns about the involvement of the Crown Prince and Saudi Arabia’s questionable human rights record.

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