AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi has revealed he attempted to bring Pep Guardiola to the club when the Spaniard was head coach at Barcelona.
The Catalan coach was in charge at Camp Nou for four years, winning the Champions League twice, before moving on to Bayern Munich and claiming three successive Bundesliga titles.
Guardiola will now manage Manchester City next season, but it was his work with Barcelona that particularly impressed Berlusconi.
“As a coach, I was courting Guardiola at Barcelona,” the 79-year-old told TeleLombardia.
“He then became coach of Bayern – but the game expressed at Barca was what satisfied me more.”
Berlusconi also criticised the money within football that has prevented the club from signing the world’s best players in recent years.
Though Milan have broken the world transfer record three times under his ownership, the last time they did so was in 1992, signing Gianluigi Lentini for a relatively modest £13million.
“The names are known, but the demands are there to show how football now has become like a kind of monopoly,” Berlusconi continued.
“These top figures have no connection with what are reasonable prices.”