Inter Milan become first Serie A club under Chinese ownership

Inter Milan celebrate Danilo D'Ambrosio's goal
Image: Inter Milan have been taken over by Chinese owners the Suning Holdings Group

Inter Milan have become the first Serie A club to fall under Chinese ownership after the Suning Holdings Group acquired a majority share of the club.

The Nanjing-based group - one of the largest privately owned retailers in China - has bought a 68.55 per cent controlling share in the San Siro club, with previous owner Erick Thohir remaining president.

The Indonesian businessman, who bought Inter in October 2013, told a press conference: "This new partnership with the Suning Holdings Group means Inter are taking a revolutionary step into the future.

"In the past two and a half years we have built on a solid foundation, making the club stronger. Now this new partnership will allow us to take a new, decisive step forward in our bid to restore Inter to their rightful place among the world's top clubs."

Roberto Mancini
Image: Roberto Mancini lead Inter to a fourth place finish in Serie A last season

Inter won a league, Coppa Italia and Champions League treble under Jose Mourinho in 2010 but have fallen from grace in recent times, missing out on European football twice in the last three years.

Roberto Mancini secured a fourth-placed finish in 2015-16 but the former Manchester City boss could face an uncertain future under the new regime, which also controls Chinese Super League side Jiangsu Suning.

Jiangsu signed Brazilian midfielder Ramires from Chelsea for 25million euros (£19.6m) in January and Inter can expect similar funds to be made available ahead of the summer transfer window.

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Suning Holdings Group chairman Zhang Jindong said on inter.it: "This historic agreement gives Inter an opportunity to experience unprecedented growth in China, so that our country will become a second home for the Nerazzurri.

Erick Thohir, presidente dell'Inter (foto getty)
Image: Erick Thohir will remain as Inter president after the Chinese takeover

"Furthermore, Suning's investments and resources will help Inter return to their glory days and become stronger and stronger, attracting the stars of world football."

The Chinese takeover ushers in the end of Massimo Moratti's association with Inter. The long-serving president remained a shareholder after selling his majority to Thohir, but will now step aside.

Inter's city rivals AC Milan are also reportedly in takeover talks with a Chinese consortium. Thai businessman Bee Taecha pulled out of a bid to take control of the Rossoneri in June 2015.

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