Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has revealed that the club made an attempt to net Riccardo Montolivo when he was still a boy.
The 27-year-old signed for the Rossoneri last week  on a Bosman given his expiring contract with Fiorentina.
“When Montolivo was just seven, we understood that he would become a great player,” the official stated on Thursday.
“However, his parents decided against a move to Milan in favour of allowing him to grow in the Atalanta youth ranks.”
Montolivo developed in Bergamo before he was transferred to Fiorentina in the summer of 2005.
Galliani also revealed how the club was able to bring defender Mattia De Sciglio, now 19, into their youth set-up.
“We netted De Sciglio when he was 10-years-old,” he explained. “We went to his club Cimiano and we got him for €500…
“This explains how fundamental it is to invest in youngsters and we are looking to do that in the best way possible.”