Report: Former Red Bulls GM de Bontin leading U.S. group to buy St. Etienne

Frenchman Jerome de Bontin, who attended Amherst College and formerly served as the New York Red Bulls general manager, is organizing a group of unnamed American investors to buy St. Etienne, one of the most storied names in French soccer, L'Equipe reported.

De Bontin, who has been heavily involved in American youth soccer, serving as Rush Soccer's chairman, is looking to reorganize Les Verts, who are owned by Bernard Caiazzo and Roland Romeyer.

L'Equipe reported that Caiazzo et Romeyer, who bought St. Etienne for 5 million euros ($6 million) in 2005, want at least 80 million euros ($96 million) for the club, but it may be only worth half that.

Reports out of France suggested that de Bontin is seeking out the interest of Arsene Wenger, who stepped down at as Arsenal manager, or Leicester City boss Claude Puel, to join St. Etienne.

St. Etienne won the last of 10 league titles in 1981. It reached the 1976 European Cup final, losing to Bayern Munich, 1-0, in Glasgow.
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