Adriano Galliani, vice president of AC Milan, said Friday it was a "professional" decision not to bring Keisuke Honda to the Serie A this summer from CSKA Moscow.
"I have a good personal relationship with the president of CSKA, but as fellow professionals we could not agree on a deal," Galliani said in an interview streamed on the Internet.
Asked why CSKA refused to allow Honda, who becomes a free agent in the winter, to make the transfer, he added, "If Honda plays for CSKA they have a better chance of winning in their domestic league and the Champions League."
"(Winning in the CL) would also reap financial rewards. It shows CSKA have high expectations of a player with three months left on his contract."
Milan had been locked in discussions with CSKA over Honda, but the reported offer of 4 million euros fell short of the fee the Russian club had been demanding.
Honda came off the bench to score his 17th national team goal as Japan beat Guatemala 3-0 in a friendly in Osaka on Friday night.