Qatar has reportedly chosen AS Roma to become 'Italy's PSG'
L'Equipe are reporting that Qatar have AS Roma in their sights
The Qatari government is reportedly eyeing up Serie A side Roma as the next project to expand their European football strategy according to French newspaper L'Equipe.
According to the report, the club is proving enticing to investors because of its location in a major European capital and the potential for tourist and cultural influence that brings.
Qatar Sports Investment (QSI), a subsidiary of the state-owned wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority, acquired PSG in 2011 and has invested substantially in a bid to transform the Ligue 1 side into one of Europe's powerhouse clubs. They have succeeded, to an extent, having won the league in five of the last six seasons (soon to be six in the last seven). Despite this, Champions League success has continued to elude the club.
Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera appear to corroborate the story, stating that QSI’s representatives and other advisors to PSG president Nasser Al Khelaifi are seriously considering buying Roma and have already tabled a €450 (£388) million bid.
However, James Pallotta, the club's American billionaire owner has denied reports that QSI have tabled a bid.
AS Roma already has ties with the country due to a €40 (£35.5) million sponsorship with Qatar Airways that they signed last year which runs until 2021. The airline has opened up a route to Rome from Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar.
Despite the heavy links to the club, any proposed takeover is complicated due to Uefa’s Article 5 Integrity regulations regarding ownership of multiple clubs.
The article bars teams owned by the same company or group from competing in its continental competitions, such as the Champions League and Europa League. However, QSI could potentially form a different company to bypass the law.
One major exception has already been granted by Uefa, who allowed Red Bull Salzburg and RB Leipzig to compete in the Champions League last season despite both being owned by energy drinks giant Red Bull.