Berlusconi: Ancelotti a key Milan transfer advisor

The club owner claims the current Real Madrid boss advised moves for Diego Lopez, Alex and Jeremy Menez and stressed he was glad to be rid of Mario Balotelli

AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi claims former coach Carlo Ancelotti continues to play a key role in the club's transfer policy.

The Italian lifted the Champions League twice during his eight-year stint at San Siro and, although he now coaches Real Madrid, retains a great working relationship with the Rossoneri.

Ancelotti sold Diego Lopez, who kept Iker Casillas out of the starting line-up in La Liga last season, to Milan this summer and Berlusconi revealed he also advised moves for Alex and Jeremy Menez, whom he worked with at Paris Saint-Germain.

"I give my compliments to Ancelotti," Berlusconi told La Gazzetta dello Sport .

"He's been one of our advisors on the market, next to me and Adriano Galliani, and he gave us advice on Lopez, Menez and Alex."

Berlusconi also reiterated that he was glad to see the back of striker Mario Balotelli, who left Milan after 18 months of inconsistent form when he joined Liverpool in a €20 million deal in August.

"I remember he was bought against my advice," he added. "We have many champions: Menez, Keisuke Honda, Stephan El Shaarawy, Fernando Torres, Nigel de Jong...

"The base is there. And we no longer have a rotten apple in the dressing room."

Milan were also linked with Balotelli's former City team-mate Carlos Tevez prior to his move to Juventus, but Berlusconi claims he was never interested.

"I never considered him for Milan," he said simply.

The Rossoneri have had to make do without European football this season after their dismal eighth-placed finish in 2013-14, but Berlusconi insists there is no reason they cannot target a place in the Champions League final of 2016, which will be played at San Siro.

"It's too early to give a vote on the team but I think we can give a more complete assessment from January onwards," he said.

"Our goal is to return to Europe. We want to build a winning side.

"I think there are cycles in football, with years of success, then breaks, then back to winning. But the fans should rest assured - the team is already competitive and we'll soon be leaders in Europe again.

"The 2016 Champions League final is in Milan. Why shouldn't we dream of being there?"