Adriano Galliani reveals he wanted Antonio Conte and Maurizio Sarri at Milan, “I’d have tried” for Mauro Icardi and Zlatan Ibrahimovic is still a “phenomenon”.
With Milan struggling in the bottom half of Serie A this season, Galliani recognised Conte’s work at rivals Inter and agreed they were in a two-horse race with Juventus for the Scudetto.
“After 31 years at Milan, I do not speak of Inter,” he told Tiki Taka on Canale 5.
“But Conte is right when he says that without Inter, Juventus would have already won their ninth Scudetto in a row. They’re the only team to remain in the title fight with Juventus.”
The Rossoneri’s former chief then admitted he sought to bring the Inter coach to San Siro when he was in charge, as well as Juve boss Maurizio Sarri.
“I have always wanted Antonio. Sometimes he wouldn’t answer me, but I always wanted him. He gave us a hand when we won the Scudetto in 2011.
“In football there are a lot of stuff you may say, and a lot of stuff you don’t say. I was as close to getting Sarri as I was close to getting a lot of players.”
Marco Giampaolo has already been replaced at Milan by Stefano Pioli this season, but Galliani explained how the former Sampdoria man was a target when the club chose to go for Vincenzo Montella.
“In 2016, I wanted Giampaolo. But the Chinese wanted Montella and they went with him. I was satisfied with Montella, but I have always liked Giampaolo.
“He makes his teams play very well. But with Montella, we won our last trophy and it’s OK like that.
“It doesn’t matter that Giampaolo didn’t coach any big teams, I remember when I faced [Max] Allegri at Cagliari, I always said he would be the perfect fit to coach Milan.”
Icardi was briefly linked with a crossing of the divide over the summer, so would Galliani have signed him from the Diavolo’s city rivals?
“If I had remained in charge of Milan, I would have tried to get Icardi because I think he is an extraordinary striker.”
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is reportedly closing in on a return to Milan this winter, and the 75-year-old reiterated his praise for the hitman.
“I don’t know, I don’t manage Milan anymore so I can’t answer. I have some great memories of Ibrahimovic, if he is fit, he is still a phenomenon.”
Finally, the now-Monza CEO had his say on VAR and whether he was for or against technology in football.
“After [Sulley] Muntari’s goal was not given, I am absolutely in favour of it. After that incident, I became a fan of any kind of technology in football.
“Of course, VAR needs to be improved but it was worse before, when there was no technology.
“Now you are more certain and less suspicious. You can change it, but you can’t go back. I am very happy that there will be VAR in Serie B as well next year. People are quieter now.”
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