AC Milan have turned down a £25m bid from an unnamed club for Stephan El Shaarawy this summer, according to Vice-president Adriano Galliani. Arsenal and Manchester City were reported to be interested in the Milan starlet, with Arsene Wenger quoted as being a huge fan of the forward.
"El Shaarawy is a very mobile, very technical young player. His philosophy fits perfectly with mine," Wenger had said in December and refused to rule out a move by adding," You never know. I just say I love the way he plays."
Galliani refused to disclose the name of the club in question but insisted that he had consulted the 20-year-old who has refused to move out of Italy. The youngster has been a revelation for Milan in the recently concluded season, scoring 16 goals and assisting four in 34 starts. The player was part of the Italian squad which travelled for the Confederations Cup in Brazil where they lost to Spain in the semi-finals in a penalty shoot-out.
"What we haven't told anyone is that we received a very big offer for El Shaarawy, but I will never name the club involved. It is a very important club, though. I informed the player's agent and as soon as he returned from the Confederations Cup I spoke to Stephan. We did not want to sell him, so we simply informed the lad and his family that this proposal had arrived for him. I asked him what he wanted to do," Galliani told 7 Gold television network.
"He said the money he had was more than sufficient, that he is a Milan fan and [that he] did not want to leave. I kissed him on the cheek and that was that. We were not tempted by the offer, but we couldn't exactly hide it from him. He saw the figures, but did not want to budge. How big was the offer? More than €30m," he added.
The forward is currently back with the Milan team and is preparing for the next season with Galliani discussing tactics with him. The vice-president revealed that the player has had a goal scoring crisis in recent months but attributed it to his tender age.
"We discussed tactics for next season, as we are returning to a 4-3-2-1 system and he is happy to play as a support striker. He had a goal-scoring crisis in recent months, not a physical one, but he always worked hard for the team. He is only 20, so some ups and downs are natural. It even happened to Edinson Cavani, who didn't score for two months," he explained