Former AC Milan CEO Adriano Galliani has given backstory on how Inter Milan signed Zlatan Ibrahimovic ahead of the Rossoneri.

Speaking to Milan-based newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport in an interview published in yesterday’s print edition, via FCInterNews, Galliani revealed the whole transfer story with the Swedish legend.

Ibrahimovic was one of the biggest names on the transfer market in 2006.

The Swede was a Juventus player at the time. But the Bianconeri had suffered a humiliating relegation to Serie B following the Calciopoli scandal, and Ibrahimovic was never likely to stick around.

And in the end, Ibrahimovic decided to join another of Italian giant.

As Galliani reveals, the two biggest clubs in Serie A besides Juventus were both vying to sign the Swede.

But it was Inter who won the race at the time.

Then, Ibrahimovic would go on to spend three seasons with the Nerazzurri, before completing a switch to Barcelona in 2009.

Following one season at the Camp Nou, Ibrahimovic did actually end up at Milan.

From there, the iconic former Ajax striker had spells with Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United.

Ibrahimovic famously returned to Milan at the end of his career. He capped off his legendary playing career with a Serie A title in the 2021-22 season, then retired last summer.

Galliani On How Inter Gazumped AC Milan To Sign Ibrahimovic

Of Ibrahimovic’s first transfer to Milan, Galliani said that “In reality, it could have happened much earlier.”

“In 2006,” he identified.

“Ariedo Braida was negotiating the final details. The contract was ready for him to sign.”

“Then Calciopoli had an effect. Milan were initially relegated, and then reallowed into Serie A, with a thirty-point deduction.”

“Despite the deduction we qualified for the Champions League,” Galliani noted.

“But by then it was too late.”

“For the same reason that Ibra left Juventus, Inter got in ahead of us to sign him,” the veteran executive, now at Monza said. “It was my biggest regret in football.”