Domenico Criscito admits he was “very close to joining Milan,” but is now expected to stay with Zenit.
The Italian international defender had also been linked with Juventus, Inter, Genoa, Napoli and Roma in recent months.
“I had been very close to joining Milan, but not Inter,” he told Sky Sport Italia. “When I was at Genoa I had already received a proposal from Milan, but President Enrico Preziosi decided to postpone any talks for six months.
“After that, no more offers came in and so I accepted Zenit. I will return to Italy sooner or later, but right now my present is at St Petersburg, where the club believes in me and almost certainly I’ll be there next season. Of course, anything can happen on the transfer market.”
Criscito underwent surgery for a recurring knee injury that has ruled him out of the Confederations Cup.
“I am feeling much better and hope to be back for the Champions League preliminary round. I’d love to win something else with Zenit after the title in my first year and I’m happy there.
“As for Italy, I hope to return to the squad so I can play in the World Cup. I am training 100 per cent, twice a day, to get back as soon as possible.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £5,000 monthly.