AC Milan legend Paolo Maldini has slammed the club's apparent intention to sell Thiago Silva to Paris Saint-Germain.
The Brazil international is reputedly on the verge of agreeing a move to the Parc des Princes, with Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi admitting that the club were unable to resist PSG's offer.
Several of Milan's players have made no secret that they are against Thiago Silva's sale, and Maldini has no doubt that the 27-year-old's departure is a heavy blow for the club.
"A player like Thiago Silva is impossible to replace," Maldini told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "Those who have trained with him are not surprised by his growth.
"He has good positioning, technique, speed and a great personality. He is the best defender in the world by a big margin.
"I think that the sale of such an important player is a sign of great weakness on the part of Milan."
The 43-year-old, who retired from football in 2009, then dismissed the notion that he convinced Thiago Silva to further his career at PSG, who employ former Milan coaches Carlo Ancelotti and Leonardo.
"I do not understand why my name continues to be dragged into this," Maldini stated. "Every time that PSG are talked about, my name is in the middle of it.
"I do not have any role at PSG and I have never been offered one. I was in Paris in January because Leonardo and I wanted to surprise Ancelotti before his first match.
"I have never tried to convince Thiago Silva to leave Milan. And I do not see why I should: I am a fan of this club and I hope that he will stay."