ROME ITALY - FEBRUARY 02: Jeremy Menez of AS Roma (L) and Perparim Hetemaj of Brescia Calcio battle for the ball during the Serie A match between AS Roma and Brescia Calcio at Stadio Olimpico on February 2 2011 in Rome Italy. (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)

Di Benedetto Granted 30-Day Exclusive Negotiating Window For AS Roma Ownership

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AS Roma Enter Exclusive 30-Day Negotiating Period With Di Benedetto

Compagnia Italpetroli, the company managing the sale of AS Roma, has taken the next step toward putting the Giallorossi in United States-based hands after today's announcement the group will enter an exclusive 30-day negotiating window with DiBenedetto AS Roma LLC. The group, founded by Thomas Di Benedetto, had previously submitted what Italpetroli called "the most competitive offer" received for last season's Serie A runners up. Now, the two groups will enter into a period that traditionally serves as the final step - an i-dotting, t-crossing measure - before sale.

Italpetroli, working in conjunction with UniCredit, a major financier of Roma, was brought into the picture at Roma in June 2010 when, in the wake of Franco Sensi's death, the club was put up for sale. Rosella Sensi, daughter of Franco (who had assumed control of the club), made the decision to offload the club after discovering Roma had been operating under heavy debt for a long period of time. Since, Roma has become tantamount to a bank-run club, with UniCredit and its advisors controlling the day-to-day operations.

Since emerging as the leading candidate to take over Roma, Thomas Di Benedetto's link to Fenway Sports Group has been the most discussed angle of the purchase. Fenway Sports Group is the new moniker for Liverpool FC-owning New England Sports Ventures, a group in which Di Benedetto is part owner.

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