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Friday, January 2, 2009
Milito not going to Inter, says Genoa chief

Genoa president Enrico Preziosi claims he has rejected an approach from Inter Milan for star striker Diego Milito and insists any other offers will get similar short shrift.

The Argentinian has been a revelation during his second spell with the Rossoblu, scoring 12 goals to lead the Serie A goalscoring charts.

A host of clubs have shown an interest in Milito, including Spanish champions Real Madrid, but Preziosi - who revealed he has already issued a firm hands-off to Inter - says the 29-year-old is not for sale at any price.

"There was contact, between (Inter sporting director Marco) Branca and our sporting director, who reported it to me," the Genoa chief told Gazzetta dello Sport.

"I have already given him instructions not to broach any discussions.

"Nothing will be done about it, the player will not even be talked about.

"I paid 12 million during the summer. What would an incredible offer be? It would have to be over 20 million, even 25 or 30, but not even all this money would make me change my mind."

Preziosi's comments will be welcomed by Genoa coach Gian Piero Gasperini who, although he insisted Milito was not for sale, admitted that money talks.

A player-plus-cash deal has been mooted with Inter striker Mario Balotelli the likeliest to be used as a bargaining chip, but Preziosi has laughed off the idea.

"That is a ridiculous notion," he added. "If ever we wanted (Balotelli) as Milito's understudy or team-mate then we could talk about it.

"If they want to sell him he would interest me, but free from a possible Milito move.

"The matter is simple and goes beyond the affection and the esteem for Milito.

"At Genoa at this point we don't have an alternative and I'm not just talking about Diego's technical qualities and tactical capability, but also the spirit with which he takes on his role as leader.

"He is the spirit of the team, he is happy at Genoa and Genoa are very happy with him. There is no reason to let him go."

Preziosi claimed that not even a phone call from his Inter counterpart Massimo Moratti would make him consider a deal.

"Certain deals, important things, are usually done directly between presidents and sporting directors come into the matter at the second stage," he said.

"If Moratti telephoned, however, I would politely repeat the same thing: I'm sorry, Milito is not for sale."

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