Galliani: Milan close to signing Thiago Silva

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MILAN - Brazil defender Thiago Silva will arrive at AC Milan next week to finalise a move from Fluminense, the Serie A club's chief executive said on Friday.

Media reports have said Thiago Silva is also being tracked by Chelsea and other top European clubs but Milan look poised to sign the 24-year-old, even though he cannot play until next season.

"Talks are at an advanced stage," Milan's Adriano Galliani told Sky. "Thiago Silva will arrive in Milan on Sunday, on Monday he will have a medical and everything makes me think that afterwards he will sign a contract."

No financial details of the deal were given.

Milan, joint second in Serie A but six points behind leaders Inter Milan, have struggled in defence this term with Alessandro Nesta a long-term injury victim and Paolo Maldini, 40, in his final season before retiring.

Thiago Silva will not be able to play this season because of Italian rules over the number of non-European Union players signed by clubs.

"From the middle of January he will train with the squad up to the end of the season then in July he will become a Milan player."

Galliani had previously said there would no new playing arrivals in the January transfer window except for on-loan Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder David Beckham.