MILAN: The Chinese owner of former world, European and Italian champions AC Milan has denied reports that he and his ownership consortium have been declared bankrupt.

A report in the Corriere della Sera has claimed that Li Yonghong, who bought the club last year from Silvio Berlusconi after protracted negotiations, claimed that he was selling off assets to settle debts and that Milan might be next to go.

Li, in a statement, said: “Some irresponsible news has damaged the club, my company, my family and myself .” He added: “The situation concerning my assets is safe and sound. Both the club and my companies are steadily working. I, therefore, hope that no credit is given to the latest news that isn’t true.”

Li’s Rossoneri Sport Group bought the Serie A club for  €740m last April but Corriere reported that he had sold his 11.39pc shareholding in the Zhuhai Zhongfu corporation to repay one bank loan and was facing a bankruptcy pursuit from another.

Zhuhai Zhongfu has denied that Li had been a shareholder which raises further questions about the veracity of the Milan purchase documentation last year.

AC Milan are seventh in Serie A, 25 points behind leaders Napoli, despite having spent £200m on new players. They sacked coach Vincenzo Montella in November and replaced him with former midfielder Gennaro Gattuso.