AC Milan could have stunned the world in 2017 after it has emerged that former owner Li Yonghong wanted to sign Cristiano Ronaldo.
That's according to former CEO Marco Fassone, who said the 49-year-old Chinese businessman was keen to make the deal happen at first.
"It's true, Yonghong Li wanted Cristiano Ronaldo at Milan," he told Il Sole 24 Ore (via Football Italia).
"Mr Li wanted CR7 at the Rossoneri because he believed [Ronaldo] had great strength in the Chinese market.
"The player wanted to leave [Real] Madrid. We met in July 2017 with his agent [Jorge] Mendes to check the costs and his availability.
"It was then that I convinced him to give up the dream: Ronaldo was too expensive. I think Milan were led by an excellent board of directors. We made €20m more turnover.
"That €126m debt included €45m extraordinary costs, covered entirely by Elliott [Management] and were due to write-downs of players like [Nikola] Kalinić and provisions for myself and the five other directors who left the club.
"I don't hear from Li anymore, although sometimes I do from his right-hand man [David] Han Li.
"I don't know where the money came from, but prestigious advisors were involved in the deal so why should I have doubted him?"
When the club failed to qualify for the Champions League, however, the two men were ousted from Milan.
Speaking of Europe's premier competition, Milan are competing for a spot in the Champions League next season and could be ready to splash out big money in the January transfer window.
It's believed that the club will attempt to re-sign former striker Zlatan Ibrahimović, who has been linked with a return to the San Siro. The 37-year-old Swedish striker has reportedly accepted terms for a deal that would see him return to Milan.
Along with the LA Galaxy forward, Milan boss Gennaro Gattuso also has his sights set on Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fàbregas.
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Featured Image Credit: PA