Berlusconi: Pirlo will finish career at Milan

ROME - Andrea Pirlo will spend the rest of his career at AC Milan and will not join former boss Carlo Ancelotti at Chelsea, the Serie A club's owner Silvio Berlusconi said on Wednesday. "Andrea Pirlo has been taken off the market. He'll stay with us and finish his career at Milan," the Italian premier told reporters after a meeting with new coach Leonardo and chief executive Adriano Galliani. Chelsea made a bid for Pirlo after Milan had said they would consider offers for the Italy midfielder, a cornerstone of Ancelotti's team that won the 2003 and 2007 Champions League. The Premier League club were willing to up their offer after an initial bid of eight million euros plus Peruvian forward Claudio Pizarro was turned down, media said. But Berlusconi now seems intent on keeping hold of Milan's main creative force, having sold Brazil playmaker Kaka to Real Madrid. "You know that Chelsea made a major offer for our Andrea Pirlo. We spoke to the player and decided to grant Leonardo's request that we keep Pirlo," said Berlusconi. He added that money will be found to bolster the squad, with the purchase of a striker the top priority. "Galliani will have the funds necessary to buy a great goalscorer immediately to flank the strikers already in the squad," said Berlusconi. Milan are expected to renew their efforts to lure Brazil's Luis Fabiano from Sevilla, while Real Madrid's Netherlands striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Pizarro are also targets, according to media reports. Kaka's departure caused dismay among Milan fans and the fact the club's top signing of the close season is American defender Oguchi Onyewu, who arrived as a free agent from Standard Liege, has done little to allay their concerns.