Wanda Group Denies Report In U.K. Press About Takeover Of EPL Southampton
China's richest man, Wang Jianlin, chairman of real estate developer Dalian Wanda Group, "reportedly refuted a British media report that he planned to buy" EPL side Southampton for £1.75M ($2.8M), according to the WANT CHINA TIMES. U.K. tabloid the Sunday Mirror said that Wang "has been in negotiations with the British team regarding a takeover." Wang, who "has a keen interest in the sport," signed a three-year deal in '11 with a Chinese football league to invest 500M yuan ($826M) in various football fields. He "would become the first Chinese business tycoon to own a British football club if the deal were to happen." The group published a statement, however, "to say that no individual from the group has ever been in contact with the football club, nor has it appointed any individual or third party to engage in negotiations on its behalf" (WANT CHINA TIMES, 1/21).