Mumbai: Abu Dhabi-based City Football Group (CFG), the owners of English Premier League club Manchester City FC are all set to announce their new ownership in India, at Mumbai City FC. The announcement might take place before the start of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2019-20 season.
The CFG had initiated their search for suitable options to invest in India way back in 2017. In January 2018 , Ferran Soriano, the chief executive of the City Football Group, came to India himself to explore the potential clubs to buy ownership.
“We’ve been looking at India for nearly two years now,” he said. “I’d say this year we’ll end up doing an investment in India. With all these developments we have to be patient. We have some interest in some markets and countries where there is a genuine football passion and opportunities, like China, but also India. So there might be other opportunities in Asia.”
On the other hand Bimal Parekh and Bollywood star Ranbir Kapoor, co-owners of Mumbai City FC were keen right from the start to rope in an international partner. Fast forward in March 2019, the CFG initiated talks with Mumbai City FC and towards the end of May, the talks reached the final stage.
A Mumbai City FC official talked to us on the condition of anonymity in this regard, "At this moment nothing is finalized. But the talks have been going on very smoothly and so one can expect a positive response (from the CFG) very soon. But for the time being we cannot confirm anything."
Rumors have also been doing round regarding the signing of Spanish legendary forward David Villa. The 37-year old Barcelona legend is currently contracted to Japanese J1 league outfit Vissel Kobe. The Spanish forward is contracted to the club till the end of 2021.
"Talks are probably on a very early stage. It is difficult for me to tell you what are the probabilities of striking such a deal. Not much has been disclosed by the top brass at the club," said the official when asked about David Villa signing.
Apart from Manchester City, the group also has shares in New York City FC (USA), Girona FC (Spain), Melbourne City FC (Australia), Yokohama F. Marinos (Japan) and Atletico Torque (Uruguay).