Saturday September 9 2017
'Milan wanted Belotti in Niang deal'

Torino director Gianluca Petrachi confirms Milan tried to use M’Baye Niang as a bargaining chip for Andrea Belotti, “but the offer was unsuitable.”

The two clubs did eventually do business, Niang joining the Granata on transfer deadline day after weeks of tense negotiations.

“It was a bit of a soap opera,” confessed Petrachi on Torino Channel.

“He always wanted to join us, partly because of the bond he has with Sinisa Mihajlovic, and he even turned down an offer from Sampdoria.

“(President Urbano) Cairo gave me the all-clear to negotiate with the Rossoneri, but they tried to use Niang as part of their bid for Belotti. The offer was unsuitable.

“I was the one who insisted on keeping the two issues separate. We are trying to build a stronger Torino and selling Belotti for €50-60m would not have achieved that.

“We want Belotti to be paid for what he is worth. If the lad wants to challenge himself at Champions League clubs, then we can talk about that in future.”

Il Gallo has a €100m release clause, but Torino did sell Davide Zappacosta to Chelsea on deadline day for a reported €28m.

“We sold Zappacosta because, after consulting with the player too, we realised this was an offer we could not refuse. Cristian Ansaldi arrived instead and in my view he’s even stronger in the defensive side of the game.

“On the final day of the season, we received an important proposal for Adem Ljajic, which we refused. Marco Benassi went because of the system, but we believe a great deal in Antonio Barreca, Iago Falque, Afriyie Acquah and Ljajic.”

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