MOSCOW – CSKA Moscow president Evgeny Giner has criticized AC Milan for deploying underhand tactics to try and lure Japan midfielder Keisuke Honda away from the Russian Premier League club.
Giner admitted he is resigned to losing Honda, who becomes a free agent in the winter after roughly four years with CSKA and is set to join Milan next season.
But he said transfer negotiations with Milan in the summer had broken down because the Serie A club had approached Honda’s representatives behind his back, not because they could not agree on a transfer fee.
“(Milan) approached Honda’s side from February before negotiations were even possible and talks were going on without me (being involved),” said Giner.
“If they had come to me from the start, things might have turned out differently. Being deceptive is something that is not tolerated in Russia.”
Giner also denied that the deal had fallen through because the offer Milan had tabled, reportedly €4 million ($5.4 million), fell short of the fee the Russian club had been demanding.
The 53-year-old said the main reason was Milan’s lack of “sincerity”.
Honda helped CSKA win the Russian league last season, and Giner was thankful for the bleach-blond midfielder’s service with the club.
“I want him to stay, but he is an adult so has to make the decision himself. He has improved along with the team and has made the step up with this club. Even if Honda leaves Russia he is still a member of the family.”