The former Rossoneri president sympathised with the goalkeeper, but maintains he would have found a way to keep him at San Siro

Silvio Berlusconi says Gianluigi Donnarumma would not want to leave AC Milan if he were still in charge, but understands why the goalkeeper wants to go.

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The 18-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to Real Madrid since rejecting Milan’s contract offer, with his current deal expiring in June 2018.

Although Milan insist they will not sell the Italy international in the close-season, Madrid president Florentino Perez confirmed they are interested.

Berlusconi, who owned the Rossoneri from 1986 until selling it to Sino-Europe Sports in April, says he would have convinced Donnarumma to sign a new deal.

“I’d do anything to keep Donnarumma,” he told Porta a Porta. “But being a guy with a chance to go to a team and earn €100 million for himself and his family, I wonder, who would not do the same?

“With my talents, I would have been able to find a middle ground to keep him a time at Milan and then let him go on to make it big in life.”

Donnarumma’s decision has prompted a great deal of anger in Milan, with CEO claiming he and agent Mino Raiola have cost the club €100m, while he was showered with fake money during an Italy U21s game with Denmark.

He received support from a fellow professional in Paul Pogba, who said he “deserves only respect”.

Donnarumma has made 72 appearances for Milan’s first-team since making his debut in October 2010, while he has four caps for Italy.