AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi has signed a deal with Thai businessman Bee Taechaubol for an eight-week period of exclusivity to negotiate the sale of the ailing Serie A giants.
"In this period Silvio Berlusconi, who will continue to be president, and Taechaubol will work together to build a big and ambitious economic and sports project to return Milan to the highest level of Italian and international football," the pair said in a joint statement.
Under any sale deal Berlusconi would own 52 percent of the club while Bee, the executive director of a south-east Asian private equity group, would hold 48 percent, the statement said.
Speculation over the seven-time European champions' sale has been raging for months, with Bee emerging as the leading contender.
At the start of May the former Italian prime minister had announced the pair had reached a deal, but he appeared to back-pedal and went on to court Chinese investors.
Since Berlusconi bought AC Milan in 1986, the club has been crowned European champions five times, but they have fallen on hard times and have gone into decline since they last won the Italian title in 2011.