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RUMOR: Mansueto, Heitz Leading Charge to Purchase Swiss Club FC Lugano

Rumors have been circulating over the past week that Mansueto is considering the purchase of the Swiss Super League club and is leaning on his Swiss counterparts to get the job done.

Photo: Chicago Fire FC

Joe Mansueto may be adding to his soccer club portfolio very soon. The Chicago Fire owner has rumored involvement in discussions regarding the potential purchase of FC Lugano of the Swiss Super League, according to Swiss based publication Corriere del Ticino.

However, there seem to have been some complications along the way. FC Lugano has two shareholders. Chairman Angelo Renzetti is majority shareholder and owns 60% of the club. Leonid Novoselskiy owns the rest of the club and reportedly can reject any takeover deal within 30 days of a proposed offer.

This last point seems to be the largest obstacle Mansueto and his team have faced, with Novoselskiy saying that an offer Mansueto made to purchase 100% of the club was “not acceptable”. This, even as the club faces potential bankruptcy, according to Renzetti.

Swiss Connection

Two of the top people in the Fire soccer department are Sporting Director Georg Heitz and Head Coach Raphael Wicky, both of whom have connections to FC Basel and the broader Swiss soccer community.

That Swiss connection may be the driving force behind a deal eventually getting done. There are reports Bernhard Heusler, former President of FC Basel, went to Switzerland to negotiate a price with Renzetti and Novoselskiy on behalf of Mansueto.

And now, reports say Renzetti and Novoselskiy want to re-negotiate a deal. A deal may be announced in the coming days with Renzetti saying, “Heitz is coming. The contracts are ready.”

Of course, anything can happen in the world of soccer club takeover talks, so the deal is far from confirmed. However, there is a good chance, as of now, that the Chicago Fire may have a sister club in the coming days.

The Chicago Fire declined to comment for this story.

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I love soccer. Write about Fire, Red Stars, U.S. National Teams, Chicago House, and more. Occasional writer for Bulls and Cubs. Follow me on Twitter (@just_wasik).

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