Manchester City’s CEO Ferran Soriano (left) receives the Sport Business Award during Globe Soccer Awards in Dubai. Image Credit: Globe Soccer

Dubai: Manchester City’s parent company, City Football Group (CFG), on Monday added a ninth club to their burgeoning global portfolio with the purchase of Belgian second-tier side Lommel SK.

CFG chief executive Ferran Soriano said the deal would improve the chances of unearthing Belgian talent such as current and former Manchester City stars Kevin De Bruyne and Vincent Kompany.

“We are excited to welcome Lommel SK to City Football Group and to work together with the fans and the city to develop the club,” Soriano said in a statement on Monday.

According to media reports, Lommel’s debts of #1.75 million ($2.1 million) will be wiped out by CFG as part of the deal. CFG has full or part-ownership of clubs in three European countries, and in four other continents.

In addition to Lommel and Premier League champions Manchester City, they have stakes in New York City FC, Melbourne City, Yokohama F. Marinos, Montevideo City Torque, Girona, Sichuan Jiuniu and Mumbai City.

“Belgium is one of Europe’s best football countries as demonstrated by the success of the national team and the development of world-class players, some of whom we know very well, like Kevin De Bruyne and Vincent Kompany.

“This investment is part of our long-term strategy to be present in key football countries, play beautiful football and develop talent.”

City’s owners, Abu Dhabi United Group, have the majority stake in CFG, while American and Chinese organisations have also invested in the company.