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Milan admits interest in Ibrahimovic for first time

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MILAN, Aug 23 (Reuters) - AC Milan will try to sign forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic from Barcelona but the chances of landing the Swede look remote.

"We will try but it's difficult," Milan chief executive Adriano Galliani was quoted as saying by Monday's Gazzetta dello Sport, the first time the club have confirmed consistent press rumours.

Ibrahimovic, a former talisman for Milan's dominant rivals Inter Milan, had a mixed first season at Barcelona and was an unused substitute in Saturday's Spanish Super Cup second leg. Barca boss Pep Guardiola refused to be drawn on the striker's future before the game.

The Rossoneri, who have a habit of signing ex-Inter players, look in need of extra firepower after a third-place finish last term and a goal-shy pre-season under new coach Massimiliano Allegri. A drab 0-0 friendly draw with Juventus on Sunday followed by a penalties defeat was not the best way to prepare for next weekend's Serie A start at home to promoted Lecce.

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Milan have drastically reined in transfer spending during the global economic crisis and Ibrahimovic's agent believes a deal could be a non-starter before the transfer window closes on Aug. 31.

"Guardiola does not want to sell Zlatan, a move to Milan seems impossible to me. Ibra is not a loan player," his agent Mino Raiola told Gazzetta. Apart from big-spending Juve and Genoa, the transfer window has been quiet in Italy although media speculation is increasing that treble winners Inter have bid for Liverpool's Dirk Kuyt.