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Berlusconi: Milan open to Pirlo offers

AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi has said the Serie A club is open to offers for Italy midfielder Andrea Pirlo.

"If there's an offer, it should be considered," the Italian Premier was quoted as saying in La Gazzetta dello Sport yesterday, amid speculation Pirlo could join former Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti at Chelsea.

"We'll see. I was the first to say that he must stay, but then they showed me the sums (for his salary)."

The seven-time European champion had previously said no more big names would move on after it sold Brazil playmaker Kaka to Real Madrid for a reported fee of 68 million euros earlier this month.

Elsewhere, rival Inter Milan's president Massimo Moratti said Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Brazil full-back Maicon are on the market if they get a right offer.

He said there was a 50 percent chance they will depart.

The Italian champion's two best players have both threatened to leave the San Siro and have been linked to Real Madrid, among other teams.

Moratti will meet the Spanish club's president Florentino Perez this week to discuss Ibrahimovic, Serie A' top scorer last season, according to reports in the Italian and Spanish media.

"As a fan I'd want them to stay, but as a president with a balance sheet to keep an eye on, I say that if they want to go, they can go. It would be counterproductive to keep them," Moratti told yesterday's Il Giornale newspaper.

"I'd give them both a 50 percent chance of staying at Inter."

Moratti said he had already had talks with Barcelona about Ibrahimovic but added that the Catalans' president Joan Laporta was not "so motivated" about doing a deal.

He also confirmed that an Inter director had met Real Madrid last week to discuss Maicon, adding that Perez's lack of interest in signing defenders may help keep the Brazilian in Italy.

"Real Madrid have almost no interest in defenders, zero interest actually, which is fortunate because Maicon is the best full back in the world," he said.

Inter's chief executive Ernesto Paolillo said last week that a fair price for Ibrahimovic would be the 80 million pounds (US$131 million) Real has bid to sign Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United.

The asking price for Maicon is 40 million euros (US$55.4 million), according to media reports.


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