(ANSA) - Milan, July 31 - Silvio Berlusconi admitted on Tuesday that hard economic times means he cannot spend money to bring soccer's top talent to AC Milan like he did in the glory years of the late 1980s and early 1990s. "The economic situation does not allows greater spending," ex-premier Berlusconi, the club's owner, told its in-house TV channel. He was explaining the club's transfer-market strategy in the face of what he called an unprecedented economic crisis. "We must build a large team with young talent," he said. "Barcelona have done so. I remind everyone that the AC Milan started just like this". Berlusconi said he was optimistic about creating the winning team, despite the controversial recent sale of their best players, Brazil defender Thiago Silva and Sweden forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic, to Paris Saint-Germain. And he defended those sales as being essential to stabilize the club's finances. "We did not want give them both away...(but) with this sacrifice, it was possible to put the accounts in order for next three to four years. "My heart was crying, but I remain convinced we have very good players at home".