Shevchenko Milan move 'frozen'

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The Independent Football

Milan's hopes of bringing Andrei Shevchenko back to San Siro from Chelsea are "frozen" according to the club's vice-president Adriano Galliani.

Reports yesterday suggested Shevchenko could return to Milan in what would initially be a season-long loan deal following a meeting between former club president Silvio Berlusconi and Chelsea's owner, Roman Abramovich, in Sardinia last Thursday. The Rossoneri director Silvano Ramaccioni announced yesterday that a deal was close, while the Italian press claimed that one would be finalised today or at the most 24 hours later.

However, Galliani said last night that the proposed loan deal had fallen through. "Negotiations for Shevchenko are at the moment frozen," he said. "Milan had wanted to take the player on loan with the right to buy him, but Chelsea said no because they wanted us to buy him outright. Therefore negotiations are through."

The news appears to signal the end of Milan's pursuit of a player who has endured two disappointing years at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea have taken the Portuguese winger Fabio Paim on loan from Sporting Lisbon for this season with the option of a permanent deal.

The 20-year-old is yet to establish himself in the Sporting side and described the move as "an unbelievable thing".

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