Midfielder Massimo Ambrosini won't be forgotten at Milan

Massimo Ambrosini is a target for West Ham. Photo: PA

AC Milan have paid tribute to former captain Massimo Ambrosini following the announcement of his departure from the club after 18 seasons.

The 36-year-old has been heavily linked with West Ham with his agent claiming yesterday they were in talks with the Premier League side while also ruling out a move to Major League Soccer in the United States, as Ambrosini looks to extend his playing career at a high level.

Ambrosini joined Milan in 1995 from Cesena and went on to make 489 appearances in which he scored 36 goals.

During his time at the San Siro he won two Champions League and four Serie A titles, the Coppa Italia, two European Super Cups and one World Club Cup.

Ambrosini also won 35 caps in a nine-year international career with Italy.

Galliani said on acmilan.com: "I am very sorry to say goodbye to Ambro.

"It is hard to say goodbye. Eighteen seasons together cannot be forgotten and no-one will ever be able to wipe them out. Milan and Massimo Ambrosini part ways. Milan and all Rossoneri fans bid Ambro farewell - he was more than a player, he was a symbol of the club.

"Ambrosini arrived at Milanello as a promising youngster in the summer of 1995 and immediately displayed his talent with an intense work ethic and generosity, two elements that helped him become the player we know, a true champion.

"He came through the ranks under the guidance of great Milan captains, from Baresi and Costacurta to Albertini and Maldini, whom he inherited the captain's armband from in 2009 to himself become a Milan icon.

"His passion for the Milan shirt carved him a space in the hearts of all Rossoneri fans.

"His unswerving professionalism both on the field of play and in training epitomised the man, and his never-say-die attitude came to the fore also during the heart-stopping final match of the season on May 19th between Siena and Milan, his last for the team."