Soccer-New AS Roma suitor to offer double, says lawyer

MILAN, April 19 - Italian soccer club AS Roma
has a second potential suitor who could double an
existing offer, a lawyer for the controlling family was quoted
as saying.

AS Roma's top shareholder Italpetroli, linked to the Sensi
family, said on Friday it had held talks with a representative
of a potential investor, but a sale was not imminent.

The statement did not name the potential investor but media
reports said representatives of billionaire financier George
Soros had met club officials. Soros told reporters on Thursday
he had no comment on whether he was eyeing Roma.

The Sensis' lawyer, Gian Roberto De Giovanni, said another
party was seriously interested in the club, second in the
Italian league and battling for the championship.

"The offer no longer satisfies us, we need time. There is
another group that can guarantee us double," he was quoted as
saying in Saturday's Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper.

Gazzetta said Soros' representatives had talked of a bid
between 250-300 million euros ($396-475 million). The paper,
without quoting sources, said the new suitor was from an Arab

Several other potential investors have been talked about in
Italian media for months.

Roma shares closed up 12.4 percent at 1.02 euros on Friday.

Several English soccer clubs have been bought by foreign
investors in recent years because of the commercial strength of
the English Premier League across the world.

In contrast, there has been little interest in clubs in the
rest of Europe. Roma have only a small fan base outside Italy,
but investors in soccer clubs sometimes just seek enjoyment and
are not always looking for profit.

(Reporting by Mark Meadows; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)