Pellegrini insists it is nothing personal against Erick Thohir.
Former Inter Milan president Ernesto Pellegrini has urged current owner Massimo Moratti not to sell the club to Indonesian businessman Erick Thohir.
Following talks between Thohir and Moratti last week, the Italian media suggested that they are close to agreeing a deal which will see Moratti sell a majority stake of 75% in the club to the newspaper and communications tycoon in exchange for an investment of €300m.
While the pair have not yet agreed on a deal talks are expected to continue over the coming weeks, but Pellegrini has sent a clear message to his successor and pleaded to keep the club in Italian hands.
The former owner bought the club for 10 billion lire back in 1984 before handing over ownership to Moratti in 1995, and has admitted that he would prefer to see the Nerazzurri “stay Italian”.
“The Indonesian is only interested in business. The club must stay Italian and be restructured, I can help find other entrepreneurs,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport as reported by Sky Sports.
“I have nothing personal against Thohir, I don’t know him and he has an enviable financial position.
“However, this situation saddens me because I would hate to see my favourite team end up in the hands of a stranger,” he concluded.
Thohir would become only the second foreign owner in Serie A after Roma were bought by an American consortium two years ago. While traditionalists want Italian clubs to remain in the hands of their “home” owners, it can also be interpreted as a reason for the league’s decline over the years.
As their European counterparts grow stronger following takeover bids and increased investment, owners of Serie A clubs have been restricted due to the global financial recession and have long suffered the consequences.