AC Milan CEO Adriano Galliani said the club tried to sign Axel Witsel but were unable to complete a transfer before the Serie A transfer window closed on Monday.
Sinisa Mihajlovic was keen to bolster his midfield after revealing his disappointment at his side’s start to the campaign, only for Zenit to demand €100 million for Witsel.
Milan and several other suitors – Tottenham and Chelsea were credited with an interest – were understandably unwilling to pay his release clause, meaning he remains a Zenit player.
“We tried to the end for Witsel, but we knew it would finish this way,” Galliani told reporters.
While Milan failed to add to the signings of Carlos Bacca, Alessio Romagnoli, Luiz Adriano and Mario Balotelli, both Alessandro Matri and Hachim Mastour were loaned out to Lazio and Malaga respectively.