Milan chief Adriano Galliani confirmed Robinho is “closer to joining Santos,” considers Mario Balotelli a bargain and aimed a sideswipe at Juventus and Inter.
The Vice-President and general manager spoke to journalists during a charity event on Saturday night.
“Milan never go below third place, as over the last five years we have always been on the Serie A podium,” he pointed out.
“When our season went really badly, we finished third. For other clubs, such as Inter and Juve, when they had a bad season they didn’t even finish on the podium.
“Juventus are still in pole position for the Scudetto, because they won it last year. However, Milan are right up there, so at least we’ll be in the top three.”
The Rossoneri surged up the standings during the second half of the season, partly thanks to the arrival of Balotelli from Manchester City.
“He is a top star, even if he was often a reserve at Inter and Manchester City. When he arrived at Milan I told him to continue being a star, but a starting one.
“I consider him to be a bargain, as he scored 12 goals in 13 games and we are paying for him in monthly instalments.”
Galliani was asked whether there was a buy-out clause in Balotelli’s contract after reports the club valued him at €150m.
“We never thought about a clause for Balotelli. A clause allows a player to leave when he wants to, whereas a regular contract forces him to stay. Besides, nobody asked us for a clause.”
There is also no clause for Robinho, as negotiations with Santos continue with time running out before the Brazilian transfer window closes on July 15.
“Robinho wants to go to back Santos, a club he considers his home, and we’ll see if we can reach an agreement. Negotiations are continuing, we are closer, but not quite there yet. If Robinho leaves, we’ll sign another secondary striker.”
Galliani had already hinted the prime target to replace Robinho was Fiorentina’s Adem Ljajic.
“He could become our objective, but at the moment he is a player under contract with Fiorentina.”
El Shaarawy was taken off the market this week after a crunch meeting with the player and his father, though Galliani admits it was the striker’s decision.
“Stephan received an important offer with super wages for him, but the lad asked to stay and we were happy to keep him.”
The primary candidates for the Little Pharaoh were Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Anzhi.