Zlatan Ibrahimovic “certainly did not want to leave Milan” in 2012 and Adriano Galliani also reveals he was close to partnering the Swede with Carlos Tevez.
The former LA Galaxy star agreed a return to San Siro on Friday, pending a medical on January 2, with a six-month deal plus option to extend for another season.
Ex-Rossoneri CEO Galliani told La Gazzetta dello Sport why this comeback has been a long time coming.
“Ibra certainly did not want to leave Milan. He was sold to balance the books,” Galliani told La Gazzetta dello Sport of the 2012 sale to Paris Saint-Germain.
“He has always been the one to decide his destiny, except on that occasion. Together we won the Scudetto his first year, the last for Milan before Juventus started their record-breaking run, and the Supercoppa Italiana in 2011.
“The next season, we finished second, that was the year Sulley Muntari’s goal wasn’t given despite crossing the line in Milan-Juve in February.
“Before that, however, in January 2012, it was all done for Alexandre Pato to join PSG and we’d bring Carlos Tevez in from Manchester City. What a dream pairing, Ibra-Tevez!
“The whole deal fell apart and who knows what could’ve happened? I think we would’ve continued winning, as at that time we were still in front of Juve. History changed, Milan finished second and in the summer of 2012, the old guard moved on.”
Galliani reveals just how badly Ibrahimovic took the forced transfer to Paris Saint-Germain, along with Thiago Silva.
“He wasn’t talking to me for a while. Once he got over the disappointment of having to leave Milan, he gave an interview in which he spoke highly of me and our relationship.”
It was a classic case of Galliani wheeling and dealing to get Ibrahimovic from Barcelona in the final days of the 2010 summer transfer window.
“I left for Barcelona on a private jet, where I met with Zlatan and (agent Mino) Raiola, but not President Sandro Rosell. He was in Ibiza on vacation, but thanks to our great friendship, I convinced him to come back.
“I superstitiously chose the same hotel, restaurant and airport that worked for me on the Ronaldinho move. It was such a great deal: €24m payable over three years. Just 12 months earlier, Barca had paid over twice that to buy him from Inter.
“We celebrated by going to the restaurant, but when the time came to pay, neither of my two credit cards were working. In the end, Ibra had to pay and he gave me an odd look.
“I reassured him: don’t worry, we’ve got the money. He laughed like crazy.”
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