Ronaldinho close to Milan exit

MILAN - AC Milan forward Ronaldinho is on the verge of leaving the Serie A leaders after media reports on Saturday said he had left the club's training base in Dubai to return to Brazil.

The former world player of the year, who joined the Rossoneri in 2008 but has failed to recapture his former glory, is wanted by old Brazilian club Gremio and Milan finally broke their silence about the impending move late on Friday.

"We await his departure becoming official," Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri, who has left the 30-year-old Ronaldinho on the bench for much of the season, told Sky Italia.

"Maybe there was a lack of willingness on his part. I was convinced that Ronaldinho could have a great season. He started well, with a balanced side, but then everyone has to take their own responsibility."

Ronaldinho wowed crowds with his brilliance while at Barcelona from 2003 to 2008, also helping Brazil to World Cup victory in 2002.

However, fitness and form problems have dogged him since 2007 and he looks a completely different player, with his superb sidesteps and mesmeric skills now just a memory.

Milan are signing Sampdoria forward Antonio Cassano now the January transfer window has opened, making Ronaldinho's exit more inevitable with his contract up in June.