One of China’s richest men, Wang Jianlin, is reported to be interested in Atletico Madrid. According to Marca newspaper he has already signed a deal to invest an unknown amount in the Spanish soccer club. Forbes also reveals that on 30 July Wang had hosted a delegation from Atletico at his headquarters in Beijing, including the club’s CEO, president and director of investment. China Daily has reported that Mr Wang Jianlin has a personal fortune of1 35 billion yuan ($22 billion). He is the founder of property developer Dalian Wanda Group. Wang, who made his name with shopping malls, has been quietly growing Wanda into one of thebiggest landlords in the world, with a prospective 17 million square meters under managementby the end of 2013.
Wang Jianlin has already shown an interest in footbal and the Spanish experience. He finances a program giving the opportunity to young Chinese footbal players to join Spanish football clubs. In particular, over a period of three years each Atletico Madrid, Villareal and Valenica will take in 30 young Chinese footballers, with 10 players joining each club every year. The youngsters, who are chosen at the national championships for their age group, come to Spain when they are 13 years old and will spend three years learning the skills.