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PSG's Ibrahimovic offer was 'too good'

December 10, 2012
By Ian Holyman, France Correspondent

Paris Saint-Germain's offer for Zlatan Ibrahimovic was "too good to refuse", according to AC Milan's special projects director Barbara Berlusconi, daughter of club owner Silvio, who expects starlet Stephan El Shaarawy to fill the Swede's boots.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic tries in vain to force an opening for PSG during their Coupe de la Ligue defeat to St Etienne
GettyImagesZlatan Ibrahimovic: Has been excellent for PSG since joining the club from Milan in the summer

• Blog: Football flows versus Evian

Ibrahimovic took his tally to 14 Ligue 1 goals for PSG with his strike in Saturday's 4-0 defeat of Evian, easing his new club into second place, and rubbing yet more salt into the wounds of Milan fans unhappy with his and Thiago Silva's summer departure for the French capital.

However, Barbara Berlusconi, 28, said the new economic reality at the Rossoneri means the €20 million received for the Swedish international represented good business, especially with El Shaarawy showing promise.

"Let's say that we seized a good opportunity with this offer from PSG which was too good to refuse. To lose a player of great quality is always disagreeable, but that's the way things are. One champion goes? We make another," Barbara Berlusconi told L'Equipe in reference to El Shaarawy, signed as a relative unknown from Genoa in 2011.

"When I talk about a home-made champion, it doesn't only mean he comes from our youth academy. El Shaarawy doesn't. But we bought him when he was quite young, and we've helped him mature. We have the experience to allow his talent to blossom."

The sales of Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva, for whom the club pocketed a €42 million, are part of a new strategy in place at Milan, one designed to put the club on a sounder financial footing. Despite her club having sold two of its best players to PSG, and the side from the French capital possessing the sort of financial backing Milan can now only dream of, Berlusconi believes her club remains at least on an equal footing.

"They're a rival which is - like us - in the Champions League. But for them to match Milan's results, I think PSG are going to have to work a lot more," she said. "Why should we envy PSG? We don't envy anyone. We're the club with the most titles of any in the world. Today, I only have admiration for clubs like Bayern Munich who have put in place a healthy economic system."