Massimiliano Mirabelli has revealed that he had a deal in place to sign Cristiano Ronaldo and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for AC Milan.
The 49-year-old Italian was the club's former sporting director under former owner Yonghong Li.
However, he told Telelombardia how close he came to signing the former Real Madrid and Manchester United star, as well as Ronaldo apparently willing to sacrifice Champions League football as a result of the move.
"I confirm what I said, that there was the possibility of signing Cristiano Ronaldo," he said (via Football Italia).
"We weren't kidding ourselves: I can assure you that if the current owners had been in charge at the time, at this precise moment Cristiano Ronaldo would be wearing the Milan jersey. I can mathematically guarantee it.
"He didn't mind not playing in the Champions League. He told us: 'I've never won the Europa League, so I'll win that, too.'
"I sat down with his agent [Jorge Mendes] and my part of the deal was finished, everything had been defined, including the salary and the price of the transfer.
"I had no fear of anything going wrong, because when Silvio Berlusconi sold Milan to the Chinese group, he told us of a great man, with great lawyers and great banks behind him. Berlusconi said they would be able to do for Milan what he no longer could.
"All the players we signed were paid for. We also had Aubameyang and he wanted us. The regret is that we had a deal with him and Borussia Dortmund, but his father got in the way.
"When I was negotiating for Aubameyang, Vincenzo Montella's first choice was Nikola Kalinić and I had to follow the instructions of my coach. Before leaving, we spoke to Álvaro Morata, Ciro Immobile, Karim Benzema and started the negotiations with Gonzalo Higuaín, getting him to speak to Gennaro Gattuso.
"With André Silva, we knew this was an important player and we'd have to wait for him, because he was from Portugal and arriving in an important club. In a few years, he'll be one of the best in the world. If Sevilla buy him, Milan will still make a €15m profit."
Mirabelli's comments about Ronaldo coming to the San Siro echo similar claims from former CEO Marco Fassone, who said that the club were ready to make a "dream" move for the five-time Ballon d'Or winner.
While Milan might have missed out on Ronaldo, the club are in 'advanced' talks to re-sign former striker Zlatan Ibrahimović.
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Featured Image Credit: PA