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The Blaugrana allegedly tried to sign the Brazil international last summer and will launch another bid for the 27-year-old centre-half at the end of the current campaign

EXCLUSIVE
By Gaia Brunelli

Goal.com
has learned that AC Milan have already rejected an offer from Barcelona for Thiago Silva and now plan to make the defender club captain in order to persuade him to remain at San Siro.

The two teams have been drawn against each other in the quarter-finals of this season's Champions League, but the centre-half has been ruled out of both legs after picking up an injury against Roma last week.

The Brazil international arrived at the Giuseppe Meazza from Fluminense in 2009 and has gone on to establish himself as one of the finest centre-backs in the world.

Barca have been repeatedly linked with a summer swoop for the 27-year-old, who recently offered contradictory views on the Catalans' alleged interest in his services, admitting on one hand that it is every player's dream to play for the reigning world, European and Spanish champions, while at the same time expressing his desire to remain at Milan for years to come.

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understands that Barca, who made an approach to Thiago Silva last summer, have already had at least one bid rejected by the Rossoneri but are willing to pay whatever it takes to acquire the Brazilian.

However, Milan CEO Adriano Galliani has made it clear to the Blaugrana that he has no intention of selling a player considered even more important to the club than talismanic forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic on account that the Selecao regular is three years younger than the Swede.

Indeed, the Rossoneri now plan to play to Thiago Silva's previously stated desire to become a Milan legend by offering him the captain's armband in the summer.

From the Italian champions' perspective, the timing is perfect as current skipper Massimo Ambrosini is out of contract at the end of the season and veteran centre-back Alessandro Nesta is expected to be a part of a summer exodus from San Siro which will also see Clarence Seedorf and Filippo Inzaghi leave the club.

In addition, Galliani is also acutely aware of the difficulty Milan would have in acquiring an adequate replacement if Thiago Silva was allowed to join Barcelona.

The 67-year-old Monza native is unwilling to repeat the mistakes of the past, with the club having sold Kaka to Real Madrid in 2009 for a fee of €65 million only to then discover to their cost that they have been unable to find another trequartista of a similar standing.

Milan had hoped to build their attack around another Brazilian, the 22-year-old Alexandre Pato, but the forward has been plagued by thigh injuries in recent seasons and on Monday the forward was flown to the United States to meet with Professor Frederick Carrick in the increasingly desperate hope that the renowned specialist will be able to solve the player's persistent muscular problems.

As a result, Milan now plan to cash in on the striker during the summer in order to raise funds for a spending spree which they hope will further convince Thiago Silva that his future lies at San Siro.

Between November and February, Goal.com published 10 exclusive extracts from Graham Hunter's highly anticipated new book, 'Barca: The Making of the Greatest Team in the World'. Click here to read all 10 extracts. Don't miss it!

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