MILAN: Italian police have reportedly been investigating the terms of Milan’s sale last year by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to a Chinese consortium.

Berlusconi, who bought the club in the 1980s, rescued it from near-bankrupcty and financed its rise to the pinnacle of world, European and Italian football, has denied a report in La Stampa that prosecutors had opened an investigation into alleged money laundering.

The four-times prime minister sold the club last April for €740m to a group led by Chinese businessman Yonghong Li and stepped down from his role as president.

However criminal finance investigators have submitted a report to the prosecutor’s office before Christmas.

Financial institutions are obliged to notify the Bank of Italy of transactions in which there is “reasonable cause to suspect” financial crimes such as money laundering have been committed or attempted.

The central bank then sends these notifications to the finance police, which compiles a report that is sent to a prosecutor, who must decide whether to open a probe.

The report regarding the AC Milan sale contained three indications of suspicious operations, known in Italian by the acronym “SOS”, the sources said.

Berlusconi’s holding company has said it “behaved absolutely transparently and correctly” throughout sale negotiations.