Cristiano Ronaldo had an agreement to join AC Milan from Real Madrid, before he joined current club Juventus.
That is according to former sporting director Massimiliano Mirabelli, who revealed a deal was in place before the plug was pulled.
Ronaldo stunned the footballing world in the summer of 2018 when, after winning yet another Champions League trophy with Los Blancos, he moved to Serie A champions Juve.
The deal was reportedly in the region of £100million and remains the most lucrative transfer in Italian football history.
However, Mirabelli confirmed AC Milan were closing in on a deal for the 34-year-old superstar, only for former owner Li Yonghong to pull the plug on a deal.
Speaking to TV channel Sportitalia, Mirabelli said: “It was something we talked about with Jorge Mendes.
“We knew there could be problems with Real and Ronaldo. We did everything, but then the Chinese owners blocked the deal because it was not sustainable.
“With the current owners CR7 would have been a Milan player.”
As well as Ronaldo, the Milan owners made an ambitious move to sign Antonio Conte as manager before he joined rivals Inter.
He added: “I was proud to have made this choice [when appointing Gattuso] because of his professionalism, his seriousness and the love he and his staff put into their work.
“The Chinese owners did not agree because they thought from the outside it would look like a backward step, but I explained that for me Rino was the coach of the future. He has worked in Greece, Serie C and B and for me this is a positive.
“We listened to [Conte], we talked directly. It was a chat that didn’t result in anything.”