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Tue 27 Mar 2012 10:15 AM

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UAE investors ‘in talks’ with French football champions

"Friends" of Abu Dhabi's Sheikh Mansour eyeing league champions Lille

UAE investors ‘in talks’ with French football champions
Belgian Eden Hazard is Lilles star performer.

Wealthy investors in the UAE are currently in talks to buy
top-tier French football club Lille, it has been reported.

According to British tabloid The Sun, “friends” of Abu Dhabi
royal Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan are in talks with Lille chairman
Michel Seydoux.

Sheikh Mansour is the current owner of English Premier League heavyweights Manchester City.

Lille, the current champions of the French league, would
cost in the region of GBP£30m (US$48m) to GBP£40m, the newspaper says.

The club are in the process of moving into a new GBP£260m,
50,000 capacity stadium in the northern France city.

The development is a public-private partnership between the
club and the local municipality. Under its tenancy terms, the stadium will be owned
by the municipality and leased back to Lille for GBP6m per year.

If any deal goes through, Lille would be the second top-tier
team in France with Gulf backers.

Paris St Germain, the only major team based in the French
capital, saw its previous US owners Colony Capital sell off a 70 percent stake
in the club to Qatari investment vehicle Qatar Sports Investment (QSI) in May
2011.

QSI bought up the remaining shares in the team earlier this
month.

While financial details were not disclosed, it was widely
reported that the deals valued Paris St Germain at €100m (US$134m).

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