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Roma president slams Chinese investment rumours
Roma president James Pallotta on Sunday hit out at Italian banking group Unicredit after it claimed the Serie A title challengers are in advanced talks to sell part of the club to Chinese investors.
Shares in the club increased in value prior to the weekend on the back of reports that a rich Chinese investor was preparing to buy a stake in Roma, who could regain the league lead when they host Cagliari Monday in the weekend's final game.
The reports were driven by statements from Unicredit, one of the club's main shareholders, who said talks between the club and Chinese investors are ongoing.
Pallotta on Friday released a statement which appeared to suggest he had no knowledge of Unicredit's talks with foreign investors.
On Sunday the American directly hit out at Unicredit's "foolish and embarrassing" statements.
"Contrary to recent reports, there have not been ongoing negotiations between us and any potential Chinese investors," the American said in a statement on www.asroma.it.
"We are continually dismayed at Unicredit's foolish and embarrassing promotion of false information in the media - this is shameful and it hurts our team and our fans.
"Anybody involved in this kind of activity must be held accountable for any harm caused to our club on and off the field and should apologise to our fans. Forza Roma!"
La Gazzetta dello Sport on Friday claimed Cheng Feng, who is president of Hna Group -- which owns Hainan Airlines -- was the most likely investor in Roma.
If reports are confirmed, he would become the second Asian businessman to invest in a Serie A club following the recent takeover of Inter Milan by Indonesian Erick Thohir.
Pallotta on Friday had said: "We have no special insight into Unicredit's desire to sell its stake in Roma or its rather transparent motive for a public dialogue, so we like you will await the next news cycle to learn more."
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