AC Milan have turned down a world record offer for a defender from Paris St-Germain for Thiago Silva.
Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi says the cash-rich Ligue 1 side made a bid of nearly €46m (£37.5m) for the 27-year-old Brazil international centre-back.
“We had no intention of selling Silva,” he told TV channel SportItalia.
Manchester United’s Rio Ferdinand is still the world’s most expensive defender after his £33.1m move from Leeds 10 years ago.
The Qatar Investment Authority bought a 70% stake in PSG last year and has promised to give coach Carlo Ancelotti transfer funds.
The Italian hopes to improve a squad that finished second in the league last season, three points behind surprise champions Montpellier, and is looking to his former club Milan for new signings, with Silva and Sweden captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic high on his reported list of targets.
Silva is currently under contract with the Rossoneri until June 2016, and his agent Paolo Tonietto has said that Milan need to offer him a new deal if he is to remain with the Italian club.
Berlusconi suggested that the club are willing to give Thiago, who earns a reported €4m (£3.25m) a year, a contract extension.
“Thiago Silva is a great man and we can find an easy solution,” Berlusconi said.
“We hope to have the best defence next season.”
Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani has been in talks this week with PSG over the possible sale of Silva but Berlusconi said that the offer was rejected because they would not have been able to find a suitable replacement.
“They made us a very interesting offer, close to €46m,” Berlusconi said.
“We considered the possibility (to sell) and we looked at the central defenders that could replace Thiago Silva but we haven’t found an adequate player.
“The old heart of Silvio Berlusconi has allowed us to reject this offer.”
PSG sporting director Leonardo was disappointed that he was unable to reach an agreement with his former club for Silva, who joined Milan from Fluminense in December 2008 in a deal worth €10m (then £8.4m).
“Milan seemed willing but then there were certain things that blocked the situation,” Leonardo told Sky Italia.
“We thought the negotiations would be successful.”
Leonardo, 42, who has played for and coached Milan also said that PSG were only interested in Silva and had made no inquiry for Ibrahimovic.