Milan president Adriano Galliani admits his club cannot compete financially with Manchester City for the signature of Ronaldinho.
Milan have been long-time admirers of the Brazilian, while Premier League club City have confirmed their interest in the player.
Barcelona have yet to accept a bid for Ronaldinho, but Milan vice-president Galliani concedes the Italian giants can not match the wages City are prepared to offer.
“For now Italian football is ranked fourth in Europe behind England, Spain and Germany,” Galliani told the Gazzetta dello Sport.
“Unfortunately we can’t compete with the wages they offer.
“It is the way our football is going unless we change things.
“We’d like to offer Ronaldinho from Barcelona a chance of playing for us.
“Manchester City, though, have offered the Brazilian 12million euros a year. How can we compete?
“Well, only if they give him to us for free!”