Adriano Galliani expressed his pride in beating Inter Milan to the signing of Giacomo Bonaventura, hinting he only bought the player to spite his city rivals.
AC Milan made their move for the Atalanta winger late on Monday evening, after a move for Jonathan Biabiany broke down. In the space of just a few hours, and without the player even undergoing a medical, the 25-year-old found himself signing for a different club in Milan to the one he expected.
"Bonaventura's signing is one of the strangest things that has happened to me in 29 years of transfer markets," Galliani explained. "At 8pm, we thought the Biabiany-[Cristian] Zaccardo swap deal was concluded, but then that didn't happen so we had this idea.
"The player was already on his way somewhere else, but he was in Milan because this city was his destination anyway. I saw the player and his agent so I summoned them over. We didn't do the medical, I just called the Atalanta doctor who said he was meant to be sending all the details to another club in Milan. In the end, it all worked out for us."
He may not have been the big name Milan were after, but the fans had been satisfied in that aspect by the arrival of Fernando Torres. However, their delight turned to disappointment on transfer deadline day when Bryan Cristante, a homegrown talent, was sold to Benfica for six million euros.
The reaction to that sale was fierce, but Galliani says there was nothing he could do to prevent the 19-year-old from leaving.
"Cristante wanted to leave," Galliani said at a news conference in Milan. "He didn't feel he was getting enough of a game and that's where it all started. I offered him the opportunity to go out on loan, but he didn't want that. I hope he becomes a champion. We only paid 25,000 euros for him."
The fans' anger will soon subside if Milan continue the way they have started the season -- with a 3-1 win over Lazio leaving them top of Serie A -- and that is the aim of Stephan El Shaarawy. After missing most of last season due to injury, he returned stronger than ever in preseason, not only physically but also mentally.
"I'm now more motivated and more mature," he said at a news conference while on duty for Italy in Coverciano, near Florence. "The season's started well and I hope this is just the start of something. I want to score 10 goals in the league, even if returning to the Champions League is more important than that."