ROME: Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini has agreed to sell a majority stake in the Italian Serie A football club to a Chinese state-backed fund.

This is the third Chinese investment into top-level Italian football after the deals with Internazionale and Milan.

Zamparini, who bought the Sicilian club in 2002, confirmed the news in an interview with Rai Radio 1, stating that the investor will commit €200m ($224m) towards the club.

The 75-year-old said that the initial investment would be split three ways, with €150m being spent on constructing a new stadium for the team, €30m going towards a new training facility and the remaining €20m being set aside for a “surprise”.

Zamparini said: “Am I selling Palermo to the Chinese? No, I’m bringing the Chinese to Palermo. They would become majority shareholders with me as a minority investor.

“Within two months, we should have a final agreement with the Chinese via a state fund. We need people who bring finance, who bring capital.”

Palermo are 18th in Serie A after winning just one of its opening seven games of the 2016-17 season. Last term, the club finished 16th, one point above the relegation zone.