Marco Fassone has confirmed Milan will try to sign a top striker, talked about the Bonucci deal and said the new owners ‘immediately told me about their desire to bring Milan back to the glory days.’
The squad is in China for friendly matches against Borussia Dortmund (July 18 at 13:20 CET) and Bayern Munich (July 22 at 11:35 CET), but today they took part in an event organized by President Yonghong Li.
During the event, club CEO Marco Fassone, who was picked by Yonghong Li and Executive Director Han Li, to manage the day-to-day activities at Casa Milan, took the stage.
“It’s a great pleasure to be here with you today,” Fassone said, per Milannews.it & acmilan.com. “The first time I spoke with the President and with Han Li, they immediately told me about their desire to bring Milan back to the glory days. I realized that the club has a great appeal in China and that we were recognized as symbols with extraordinary players like Baresi and Gattuso, who are here today with us, and by lifting trophies, they made the club’s name known all over the world.
“It’s an extraordinary project and I find it particularly fascinating to try to unite Italy, home of football, and China, a true source of incredible passion. China is studying the world of football, which in Italy is a religion. We want to help this country grow and the project signed today is very important.”
Fassone then continued: “As far as we are concerned, we have the responsibility of reconstruction an extraordinary Milan. We are really strengthening the team that Vincenzo Montella last year took to sixth place, thus giving us access to the preliminaries of the Europa League.
Since last April, when we took over the club from President Berlusconi, who wrote Milan’s history [he was Milan’s President for 30 years], we have come a long way. We have worked with Mirabelli to hand over to Montella an ever more competitive squad. With each passing day, very important top players at international level are asking for information on our project. That is a real honor for us.
“In addition to the stricter sports part, there is another important asset of our project which is Milan China, the new corporation whose role is to develop our Club commercially. This will help us get back on top of the world, I am sure [Milan are building on a huge revenue increase coming from Asia].”
After the event, Fassone also spoke to MilanTV and Premium Sport, discussing the mercato and talking about the next objective of the Rossoneri management: signing a top striker to complete the XI of Montella in time for the start of Serie A and even in time for the Europa League qualifier.
“The signing of Bonucci? I was very skeptical. It was a crazy idea that I didn’t even want to try, but then Montella told us to continue pushing. We went forward and we closed the deal rapidly and quickly. It’s a very important sign to see that now players in Champions League clubs want to join us.
“Bonucci’s arrival is a signal for the future. Leo is a warrior and a leader who will give us a great deal, both on and off the field. If it was easier to deal with Claudio Lotito [for Biglia] or with Beppe Marotta [for Bonucci]? With Lotito it’s always more complicated to negotiate. You must always take it in good spirits because he’s one that takes the last drop of sweat from you to close a deal.
“The budget for the market? Fortunately, we are in China now and can therefore discuss with the owners what our resources are, because they are not unlimited. We must also work things out with the Coach, because the next two friendlies can give some indications to him and Mirabelli.
“A striker? When we return to Italy, we will get on the right path. We’re keeping all our options open and will certainly do something beautiful. Many names have been mentioned of very strong strikers. It’d be nice to have one from Belotti, Morata and Aubameyang. We’ll see who the choice lands on, although there are also other names who haven’t emerged in the media yet.
“Evidently, we are still thinking of doing something in that position.” The transfer market is still long and Milan now have a few more days in China to focus on football before the madness returns.