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Potential AC Milan buyer, Sino-Europe Sports, gets less credible by the second

Milan supporters may never get rid of Silvio Berlusconi.

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AC Milan v FC Internazionale - Serie A Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

We've covered the potential sale of AC Milan to Chinese investment group Sino-Europe Sports regularly over the last year, and it keeps getting messier.

The company falsified letters of support from banks, said it was late completing the purchase because of bureaucracy preventing it from getting money out of China, assured the press it would make huge signings, then failed to pay a third installment of €100 million on time.

On Thursday, SES sent Milan's owners, Fininvest, €20 million while promising the rest of the money was on the way. The group claims it has the other €80 million, but again, is being stopped by red tape.

But while that's going on, there are widespread reports that investors are backing out of SES and its bid to buy Milan. A Reuters report on the group tells of empty offices, a complex network of shell companies, and reported former investors who don't want to talk.

No one seems to know if Sino-Europe Sports actually has the money to buy AC Milan, nor does anyone seem to know what happens to the money it’s already deposited if it can't complete the purchase. This is a huge mess, and it'll probably get worse.

Goal of the day

Lukas Podolski's final goal for Germany. (r/soccer)

In the news

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A former FIFA doctor says footballers' health is being put at risk by painkiller abuse. (BBC)

Real Madrid will sign a Galactico this summer, but who it is depends on how Zinedine Zidane will use Cristiano Ronaldo going forward. (Marca)

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Everton has a deal to buy land for a new stadium on Liverpool's waterfront. (Guardian)

You should be reading

Richard Conway and David Lockwood on soccer in Syria. (BBC)

Ted Knutson on conventional wisdom about corners and other things. (Stats Bomb)

Mark Murphy on CAF's presidential election and what it means. (Two Hundred Percent)

What happened on Wednesday

England wasn't great, but at least Dele Alli stood out. (Guardian)

What to watch on Thursday (click for listings, all times ET)

CONMEBOL WCQs: Five games (from 4:30 p.m.) — Uruguay-Brazil and Argentina-Chile come especially recommended.