New York Yankees Fund and Los Angeles-based Main Street Advisors Fund LeBron James They are investing in AC Milan along with RedBird Capital Partners, which is close to a deal to buy the Italian champion for 1.2 billion euros ($1.2 billion), the Financial Times reported on Tuesday.
Jerry Cardinale, founder and managing partner of RedBird, announced a tentative agreement in June to buy Milan from fellow US firm Elliott Management, with closings scheduled for September.
Officials close to RedBird would not comment on the latest report when contacted by the Associated Press but said an announcement would be made in the next couple of days.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the final deal has yet to be announced. Seven-time European champion AC Milan is coming off its first Italian title in 11 years.
The Yankees, a 27-times world champion, is already involved in football as co-owners of Manchester City’s New York City Major League Soccer.
New York City FC plays some of its home games at Yankee Stadium.
Main Street Advisors, the James-backed fund, counts rapper Drake among its partners, as well as English club Liverpool and the Boston Red Sox.
The newspaper reported that James and Drake would be passive investors in Milan through the fund and did not take stakes directly.
RedBird also owns a stake in Fenway Sports Group, which owns Liverpool and the Red Sox.
Champions League rules prohibit two clubs in the competition from being under the same ownership to protect the integrity of matches on the pitch.
UEFA is likely to make a verdict on how much RedBird influences decision-making at Liverpool. RedBird is set to become Milan’s fourth owner in five years.
Elliott has owned Milan since 2018 after the club’s former Chinese owner failed to pay off part of a loan.
Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi dominated Milan for more than 30 years before being sold to the Chinese group in 2017.
Inter Milan, Roma, Fiorentina and Bologna are among the other foreign-owned teams in Serie A.
Having previously failed to qualify for Europe’s elite tournament for seven consecutive years – including a one-year UEFA ban for breaching financial control rules – Milan are playing in the Champions League for the second consecutive season.
That could earn the club around 100 million euros ($100 million) in UEFA prize money and help restore the club’s global brand.
Milan’s squad includes 40-year-old Zlatan Ibrahimovic and fellow striker Olivier Giroud.