According to reports from Italy, D.C. United co-owner Erick Thohir has reached an agreement to take over majority ownership -- reported to be a 70 percent stake -- of famed Italian Serie A club Inter Milan.
The deal has long been rumored in the Italian press, with news of several meetings between Thohir and current owner Massimo Moratti over recent months, including the latest one in Paris on Thursday which has resulted in a deal, according to Italian sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport.
"At this point it's just a formality ... The signatures will come next week," says the report, which also indicates that the formal closing might take up to 20 days to execute.
Upon his return to Milan from Paris, Moratti offered a more measured statement to the Italian press as quoted by Sky Sport Italia: "We have not reached an agreement, not quite. It was a chance to get to know each other a little bit more and to also know the individuals that could come in with Thohir in the eventual agreement. [The meeting] served more to offer a deeper understanding of the persons involved rather than deciding. There aren't big problems to resolve."
So it sounds less like a matter of "if," but more like "when."
In fact, Moratti was also asked whether he'll be staying on as president and his response was straightforward: "No, I don't think so. ... Of course, my family will remain [as investors]. But this is a reorganization to face the future. Given there are players that cost hundreds of millions, a this point we need to begin to understand that to remain at this same level, you have to structure yourself in a way to face this type of situation. Because Inter cannot be at any other level."
Thohir became D.C. United owner in July 2012, joining partners Jason Levien and William Chang.
D.C. United had no comment on the report when contacted by MLSsoccer.com.