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Fifth place will cost us 20 million euros, says Gallliani

AC Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani claimed on Saturday that his team's failure to qualify for next season's Champions League has cost the club around 20 million euros.

Despite beginning the season as the reigning European champions and claiming the Club World Cup in December, Milan finished the season fifth after a disastrous start to their league campaign left them with too much catching up to do.

Fiorentina claimed fourth place and the final Champions League qualification spot, leaving Milan to compete in the UEFA Cup next season.

“It's difficult to establish a figure, it depends on how far you go in either the Champions League or UEFA Cup,” said Galliani.

“I think that losing (a Champions League place) can result in a loss of 20 million euros spread over two years.”

Milan have said their main priority next season is the title and they are searching for a world class striker to add to their books, but so far those that might be available are proving too expensive.

The Rossoneri have been linked with Barcelona pair Ronaldinho and Samuel Eto'o while they are widely expected to do a deal with Genoa to bring Marco Borriello back to the club.

“There are good strikers. Their names are always the same six or seven, all with crazy price-tags,” added Galliani.

“Ronaldinho is potentially one of those, Ronaldinho is among the six or seven.”

Milan have already bid 16 million euros for the Brazilian but that offer fell less than halfway short of the 40 million euros Barcelona want.

The Italians are also two million euros short in their offer to the Catalan giants for Italy full-back Gianluca Zambrotta.

They need to sign a full-back after letting veteran Brazilian pair Serginho and Cafu leave.

There is better news with the imminent arrival of Borriello, though, who Galliani rates more highly than Brazilian Amauri, whom Juventus have just signed for more than 22 million euros.

“Borriello scored 19 goals (last season), more than Amauri,” insisted Galliani. “We still need a great striker to win the scudetto.”

Meanwhile, Milan announced they have let young French midfielder Yohann Gourcuff joined French outfit Bordeaux on loan next season.

Sat 31 May, 2008
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