Roma in talks with US businessman Friedkin to buy club

Serie A club Roma on Monday confirmed negotiations with US billionaire Dan Friedkin to buy the Italian club.

"The Friedkin Group are in negotiations related to a potential transaction involving NEEP Roma Holding Spa and its subsidiaries - including AS Roma," the club said in a statement early Monday.

It follows reports that the 54-year-old Texas-based businessman will imminently take over as majority shareholder from fellow American James Pallotta in a deal worth up to 780 million euros ($872 million).

"AS Roma informs that no definitive agreements concerning a transfer ... have been formalised to date and that any potential transaction with The Friedkin Group remains subject to a successful completion of a legal due diligence upon the AS Roma Group," the statement continued.

According to several media reports, a preliminary agreement has been reached with Friedkin to take over from a US consortium led by Pallotta, who bought two-thirds of Roma's shares in 2012.

Since then Pallotta, 61, has been pushing for the construction of a new stadium in Rome, but it remains at a planning stage.

US-based Pallotta remains unpopular among club fans for his rare appearances in Italy and his handling of club legends Francesco Totti and Daniele De Rossi who were both pushed out of the club.

Friedkin is the chief executive of Friedkin Group, the owner of Gulf States Toyota, an independent vehicle distributor in the US. Passionate about cinema, he has also produced several films.

Friedkin's son Ryan could move to the Italian capital to manage the club, according to Italian news agency AGI.

Pallotta, chairman of Boston-based hedge fund Raptor Capital Management, may keep a minority stake in the club, according to reports.

Three-time Italian league champions Roma, who have not won Serie A since 2001, are currently fourth in the Italian league, just behind city rivals Lazio.

Their last silverware was the Italian Cup in 2008.

They reached the Champions League semi-finals in 2018, but did not qualify for the European competition this season.

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