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Kobe Bryant linked to potential sale of Italian soccer club

Kobe Bryant linked to potential sale of Italian soccer club
Kobe Bryant stands on the sidelines before the start of an international exhibition game between the United States and China at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego on April 10. (Kent Horner / Getty Images)

Kobe Bryant has been linked to a group attempting to purchase the Italian soccer team Bologna FC 1909.

According to La Gazzetta, attorney Joe Tacopina is trying to put together an ownership team featuring the Lakers All-Star guard, along with Montreal Impact (MLS) owner Joey Saputo.

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Bologna's largest shareholder, Albano Guaraldi, is reportedly looking to sell the franchise, which has struggled in recent years.

Tacopina and Guaraldi are expected to meet next week.

Bryant became an avid soccer fan when he lived in Italy as a youth while his father Joe "Jellybean" Bryant played basketball overseas. During the 2011 NBA lockout, Bryant negotiated with Virtus Bologna, considering a $3 million offer for 40 days in the Italian League.

The Lakers guard might retire after he completes the final two years on his contract. Bryant has already started pursuing his entrepreneurial interests -- forming Kobe Inc. and purchasing a stake in sports drink BodyArmor.

Perhaps Bryant will add Bologna to his portfolio.

Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

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