The City Group has identified Italian third-tier club Palermo as their next target. The group led by UAE’s Sheikh Mansour is ready to pay around $7 million to take charge of the Sicilian team.

Palermo’s supporters hope the good days will be back at the Barbera once the City Group takeover is completed. (Image: Twitter/rating_bet)

The City Football Group controls clubs in various countries around the world, the most prominent being Premier League champions Manchester City, MLS Cup holders New York City FC, Spanish club Girona, or Australian team Melbourne City. The EAU investors also hold majority stakes in clubs based in Japan, Uruguay, Belgium, or France.

Palermo needed to be re-formed in Serie D in 2019 after financial problems meant that the then Serie B club couldn’t continue being part of the Italian professional leagues’ structure. Local businessman Dario Mirri was appointed president. He will keep a minority 20 percent stake in the club even after City’s takeover and will continue working at the club, sources close to the deal confirmed.

Palermo is now playing in Serie C but is hoping for a return to Serie B, the Italian second tier, at the end of the season. Talks between the club’s ownership and the City Group began months ago. The City group plans to build a new stadium for Palermo to play on or redevelop the Renzo Barbera arena, where the team currently hosts its home matches.

Over the past 15 years, big names such as Edinson Cavani, Javier Pastore, Andrea Barzagli, Fabrizio Miccoli, or Paulo Dybala have played for Palermo. The team used to achieve European Cup status regularly after its promotion in 2004, even reaching the UEFA Cup Round of 16 phase in 2006. Palermo also played an Italian Cup final in 2011. The club last relegated from Serie A in 2017.