May 19, 2016 / 8:46 AM / 4 years ago

Recon group chair says could pay more than 100 million pounds for Aston Villa

Xia Jiantong, the chairman of Recon Group poses for pictures in his office in Beijing, China May 19, 2016. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

BEIJING (Reuters) - The Chinese magnate who has agreed to buy English football club Aston Villa has said the final purchase price for the club would range between 75 million pounds and more than 100 million pounds, depending on how the club performs next season.

Recon Group chairman Xia Jiantong told Reuters that he will pay at the upper end of the price range if the club immediately returns to the English Premier League next season. A failure to gain promotion could see the purchase price as low as 75 million pounds, he said.

Xia said he will spend between 30 and 40 million pounds on new players for the upcoming season, and will announce a new club manager in the next two to three weeks. Aston Villa, the historic English club that was relegated from the English Premier League this season, was one of eight Premier League clubs that Xia considered for acquisition, he said during an interview in Beijing on Thursday.

Xia also said he was in talks with various soccer teams in Spain and Italy, as well as China and India, for potential acquisitions within three years.

Reporting by Jake Spring and Sabrina Mao; Editing by Will Waterman

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