Massimiliano Mirabelli said the order from the ownership is to not consider bids for Donnarumma and claimed ‘we are upset, as are our fans’.
Milan have been by far the busiest club in the world in the transfer window so far as they have already extended the contract of coach Vincenzo Montella and signed 4 men: Mateo Musacchio, Franck Kessié, Ricardo Rodriguez and André Silva.
But in the last days all the talk is about Gianluigi Donnarumma. The Milan goalkeeper decided he will not be signing a renewal, despite the fact that the 18-year-old was offered one of the biggest salaries in Serie A.
Now it remains to be seen if the Diavolo will sell Donnarumma for profit this summer (for reportedly €25-30m) or keep him in the stands until his contract expires. Speaking to il Corriere dello Sport’s Xavier Jacobelli yesterday at Casa Milan in an interview that was scheduled four days before Gigio’s decision, director of sport Massimiliano Mirabelli spoke about the situation of Donnarumma.
“We threw a press conference about Donnarumma 17 minutes after the meeting with [Gianluigi’s agent Mino] Raiola? When you speak clearly, you can’t be wrong. And from the first day we’ve always spoken with clarity with our fans. On everything,” Mirabelli said in the interview posted this morning.
“What about Donnarumma now? For the moment, nothing. The input from the ownership is to not accept bids. Also because, for us, Donnarumma has no price. We won’t sell him, for now. I have something in common with Raiola who said Balotelli is like the La Gioconda and Donnarumma is the Maradona of goalkeepers and both of them have no price [Mirabelli and Raiola are in a reported rift]? [Smiles] We wanted to give a symbol to our fans. And Donnarumma had everything to be that.
“He would have been a captain and frankly, the offer was enormous, considering his age and the burden for Milan: €25m net in five years means €50m gross for the club. Why did Donnarumma refuse? On a human level, we got hurt, because believe me, there was no negotiation; it’s not true that during the Thursday meeting there was tension with Raiola or that we were fighting him.
“The parties took note of the situation and everyone went their own way. We are upset, as are our fans. And I say that the utmost respect for the choices of Gigio and Raiola, everyone is free to do what they believe. Now we’re looking for a goalkeeper ‘da Milan’ [Perin, Neto and Leno are the options].”
CEO Fassone then intervened and commented on the interest of the Bianconeri in Gigio. “Juventus’ Marotta said that they have to consider the opportunity that is Donnarumma? I would be surprised if Marotta said otherwise. He’s very skilled and he’s interested in a goalkeeper, we’re here…”
As Jacobelli wrote on Saturday’s CdS, the original purpose of the interview was to get to know Mirabelli, who previously worked as a scout for Inter and was entrusted with the responsibility to bring back Milan, together with CEO Marco Fassone and under the guidance of Yonghong Li.
“In September of last year, when Marco Fassone introduced me to the Chinese’s point of view, I left my comfortable position at Inter and decided to leap in the dark. For eight months there were the postponements, twists, ‘closing’ announcements, slander, insinuations… it was a movie, in which Fassone and I played the role of the ghosts. It was like that until things unlocked in April.
“After all, my whole life has been a challenge. I came here without having saints in heaven [meaning having friends in high positions that supported him]. I work hard, every day. And this is my strength.”
Milan have been linked with a lot of players and more signings are expected until the end of the transfer market in August, and so Mirabelli knows he has a lot of work to do. “Cristiano Ronaldo intends to leave Real Madrid due to problems with the Spanish taxes? Well, if Real Madrid want Donnarumma then we’re ready to talk to [Real Madrid President Florentino] Perez [about CR7], but of course without starting from a price of €400m of which the Spanish press is talking…” Mirabelli said.
“One thing must be clear: anyone who plays at Milan and whoever agrees to come to Milan, must realize what the Milan shirt means and must aim to the highest goal in any competition. Starting with the Europa League [Milan will pay the qualification stage in July], passing through the Coppa Italia and coming to the league, in any competition we will target the most important goal.”
Milan move on, with or without Donnarumma with a sole goal in mind: creating a squad that is worthy of getting the Rossoneri back to the Champions League, after so many years of absence.