AC Milan tried to sign defender Medhi Benatia in the summer before eventually sealing a deal for Leo Duarte, a report claims.
With Cristian Zapata having left upon the expiry of his contract in June, the Rossoneri were in the market for a centre-back to take his place and provide depth.
Duarte became the fifth summer capture for after Theo Hernandez, Rade Krunic and Rafael Leao, Ismael Bennacer, joining for €11million.
According to La Gazzetta dello Sport journalist Nicolo Schira, Milan actually had another defender in mind before they went for Duarte.
He claims that Benatia was the primary objective and that Ricky Massara and Paolo Maldini received the ‘yes’ from the former Morocco international.
However, Qatari side Al Duhail did not want to lose him and as such blocked his exit, so Milan turned to Duarte.
Retroscena: prima di prendere #Duarte a fine luglio, il #Milan aveva cercato di riportare in Italia Mehdi #Benatia. Massara e Maldini avevano incassato il sì del centrale, ma poi l’#AlDuhail ha fatto muro e hanno virato sul brasiliano anche per motivi anagrafici. #calciomercato
— Nicolò Schira (@NicoSchira) October 14, 2019