Wednesday June 13 2012
Maldini: Thiago sale a sign of weakness

Paolo Maldini has denied convincing Thiago Silva to leave Milan this summer, instead suggesting that the club’s decision to sell him is a ‘sign of weakness’.

The final six months of Maldini’s playing career before retirement were spent training alongside Silva, when he had signed for the club from Fluminense in January 2009, but could not be registered until the start of the next season.

In seeing the Brazilian centre-back reportedly on the verge of a €40m+ transfer to PSG, the Italian veteran has reacted angrily to claims that he had a hand in influencing the player’s decision, given his bond with former Milan colleagues Carlo Ancelotti and Leonardo, who are both now at PSG.

“I never tried to convince Thiago Silva to join the cause at Paris Saint-Germain. I don’t understand why they continue to draw me to the stake,” replied the former Rossonero captain to the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“I repeat - I have no role at PSG and I haven’t ever been offered one either. I was in Paris in January because Leonardo and I wanted to surprise [former Milan Coach] Carlo Ancelotti for his first game in charge. I met the President, but I have no job.

“If you really want me to be honest, I don’t even have the phone number for Thiago Silva, plus he would be difficult to track down. But no, I have never tried to convince him to leave Milan.

“I don’t see why I should, I am a fan of Milan and I hope that Thiago Silva stays.”

The 43-year-old was asked if he then agreed with Massimiliano Allegri’s assertion that selling the defender would represent a huge loss.

“Absolutely. A player like Thiago Silva is impossible to replace. Having trained with him I am not surprised by his growth.

“He makes sense of the position, has technique, speed and personality.

“I believe that the sale of such an important player would be a sign of great weakness on the part of the club.

“Thiago Silva is the world’s greatest defender and by some distinction. Milan cannot deprive itself.”