AC Milan reveal attempt to lure Pep Guardiola

Former Barcelona manager has signalled intention to return to work

AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi admits he has tried to lure Pep Guardiola to the San Siro and although he will continue to try and convince the Spaniard to join the Rossoneri, the chances of him joining are slim.

The 41-year-old left Barcelona in the summer after winning two Champions Leagues and three Primera Division titles in a four year spell in charge at the Nou Camp.

Guardiola moved to New York to take a year sabbatical, but that has not stopped him from being linked with a host of top clubs throughout Europe.

Speculation is set to increase after Guardiola yesterday told a news conference at the FIFA Ballon d'Or gala in Zurich that he wants to return to management

"I don't have a team to go to but I would like to go back to coaching," he said. "I have taken a decision to return to coaching but beyond that no decision has been taken."

Milan are one of those linked and Berlusconi says they continue to be interested in Guardiola.

Massimiliano Allegri's side currently sit seventh in Serie A and the 76-year-old admits the coach's position is far from secure.

He told reporters: "(You ask) if Allegri will stay at Milan next season? I have to say the truth? Please, ask me another question.

"I always tried to bring him (Guardiola) to Milan, because over the last (few) years because Barcelona played the best football.

"We contacted him, but he said he wanted to stay in a sabbatical.

"He said that at Milan he'd have fun and felt admiration towards me, and appreciation for the Lake Como, where I could offer a beautiful villa. At this moment, I have to say the percentage for him to come to Milan is very low."

As are the chances of Mario Balotelli, who Berlusconi has described as a "rotten apple".

The Italian international, who starred for his country in last summer's European Championship, played for city rivals Inter before moving to Manchester City in 2010.

However he has been linked with a move away from the Etihad Stadium after a number of high profile incidents since arriving in England. The latest occurred on Thursday when he was pictured grappling with boss Roberto Mancini.

"The name of Balotelli never came into my thoughts, he is a rotten apple and could infect every group where he goes, even Milan," Berlusconi added.

PA

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