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Jun, 15, 2012

Berlusconi: Thiago Silva to stay at Milan

AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi has revealed that the club rejected an "extraordinary" offer for defender Thiago Silva from French side Paris St Germain.

Thiago Silva, 27, has been coveted by the Qatari backed Parisien club, but Berlusconi has put an end to the saga by confirming that he will not allow the Brazilian to depart the San Siro.

The honorary president of AC Milan believes that despite the enormous €46 million offer tabled by PSG, Milan would not be able to find a suitable replacement for Thiago Silva.

"We have not changed our mind,'' Berlusconi said to SportItalia. "We had no intention of selling the player but we had received an extraordinary offer from PSG. We have always been clear and PSG should not feel let down.

"We told them from the start that we would take a decision once we had looked at the offer and seen what is out there in the market in terms of finding a possible replacement. They made us a very interesting offer, close to €46 million.

"We considered the possibility (to sell) and we looked at the central defenders that would replace Thiago Silva but we haven't found an adequate player. The old heart of Silvio Berlusconi has allowed us to reject this offer.''

With Thiago Silva set to stay at Milan, his agent Paulo Tonietto said on Thursday that he would expect the Italian side to offer a new improved contract in the coming weeks. The Brazilian defender's current deal is worth €4 million a year until 2016, but is worth less than half that of striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Berlusconi, though, has assured the former Fluminense defender that they are willing to talk over a new deal, whilst insisting that PSG's other major target, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, would also be remaining at the San Siro.

"Thiago Silva is a great man and we can find an easy solution,'' Berlusconi continued. "We hope to have the best defence next season. Regarding Ibra, he will also remain because he is the best in his position."

PSG sporting director Leonardo has no hard feelings towards former club Milan despite failing to reach an agreement to land Silva.

"We thought the negotiations would be successful,'' Leonardo said to Sky Italia. "However, in order for that to happen, you need the wish of the two clubs to complete a deal.

"Milan seemed willing but then there were certain things that blocked the situation. This can happen in football and I cannot accuse Galliani of anything, he remains my great teacher. Having gone as far as we did in the negotiation, we decided to pull out."

Leonardo, who coached Milan in the 2009-10 campaign, also insisted that Sweden international Ibrahimovic was never on PSG's wishlist despite speculation suggesting otherwise.

Reports in Italy claimed PSG had offered €80 million to acquire Silva and Ibrahimovic from Milan. "I can assure everyone that we never spoke about Ibrahimovic,'' Leonardo said. "Our only real interest has always been Thiago Silva.''

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