Massimiliano Mirabelli has announced Milan will look to sign a midfielder, a winger and a ‘great’ striker in the summer mercato and reiterated that Gianluigi Donnarumma’s suitors would have to make an adequate offer.
Gennaro Gattuso and his boys finished their part for this season, and now the focus goes back to Director of Sport Massimiliano Mirabelli who will be in charge of Milan’s summer transfer market.
Last year, Mirabelli made 11 signings and some of them turned out to be less impressive than expected, to say the least. This time the strategy is different, though, and Milan will try to get just a few players to raise the level.
“Yesterday’s match? Many thought that it was an easy match but the boys were good at overcoming Fiorentina,” Mirabelli said today as he was a guest on the MilanTV studios. The season? It’s strange to think that Milan celebrated a sixth place, but for us it was fundamental.
“We had clear ideas about what we wanted to do last summer, we made some very specific choices and Milan is now the youngest team in Italy. We wanted to build a foundation, now we know we have to do other things. We must get the right men to aspire to other objectives.
“Gattuso? He and we have a great responsibility. He had to take over a difficult situation, but he reached the final of the Coppa and made a good journey in Europe. Rino has done an extraordinary job, he had a point-average of a Champions League side in the league, this must be a starting point.
“The mercato? We have clear ideas of the areas in which to intervene: a midfielder, a winger and a great striker. We have to raise the quality of the team, last year we focused on a lot of young players. Çalhanoğlu hadn’t played for several months, he didn’t arrive in top form. Conti will be our first purchase of the new season [Andrea missed this entire season through injuries]. We also had to renew some contracts to reinforce the assets of Milan, we think we have created a good base.
“Donnarumma’s price? I don’t think this is the suitable place to talk about figures, we haven’t received any offers for Gigio and he hasn’t told us that he wants to leave. He’s an important asset for us, we renewed his contract a year ago. We want to keep him for a long time. He’s an important player for us. If he was to come and tell us he wanted out, a club must supply an offer adequate to our requests.
“The market in attack? Cutrone definitely stays. Gattuso will decide whether we start again from a 4-3-3. After that, there will be some tweaks. Bacca will return, we plan to change two strikers, so we can bring in an important one. We cannot make gambles, we need certainties. Milan invested a lot last summer, we couldn’t do everything in one transfer window. Now we have a base and we just have to make small adjustments. The number of players [we sign] depends on what UEFA will decide.
“The prices of players? It’s a drugged market, just look at the prices of some players, which are absurd. Romagnoli is one of the best central defenders in the world, if €80m was paid for Van Dijk, then how much can Alessio be worth…? The central defense? I don’t think we will intervene on this department. When we were missing Romagnoli and Bonucci, then Zapata and Musacchio did very well against Napoli. If we don’t get special requests from players, then we’ll not make movements.
“The midfield? No player who doesn’t have the approval of the coach will arrive. We have to take a player who is a bit between Kessié and Bonaventura. The new signings? The transfer market closes on August 17, we would like to give the new reinforcements to Gattuso as soon as possible. The get-together will be on July 9th, we want to give the new team to Gattuso as soon as possible.
“The group? It was necessary to go back to having an important dressing room made up of great men before they are big players. Çalhanoğlu [who turned into a crucial player]? He has played several roles in his career; his main role is the trequartista, but he can do a lot of roles. Gattuso must have more options available, this year he couldn’t try some things because he didn’t have time.
“The fans? The warmth of the fans has been extraordinary, even if we didn’t give them great satisfaction. I was struck by how much the fans are close to the team, having this support is our strong point, they’ve always supported us. I don’t know how many teams have this strength.
“The Primavera? We have a group of good players. Emanuele Torrasi made his debut yesterday with the first team, it wasn’t a lucky season for him [he tore his ACL last summer after being named the captain of the Primavera, which was then coached by Gattuso], we believe in our young players.
“The introduction of second teams in Italy? We are ready, we are already working for when this will be officialized. If the second teams are confirmed then we’ll change the strategy for the Primavera, we want to bring more players from the Youth Sector to the First Team. We’ll see what happens.
“Starting from Lega Pro? I think this is right. Finally, they are doing something concrete for Italian football, even if there are many other things to do. In Italy there are some undiscovered roles, like for example left-backs. I’d put on the second teams the obligation to have a certain number of players from Italy, in this way the Italian national team will also benefit.”
It’s not entirely clear what the budget of Mirabelli will be in the summer. The Rossoneri have already been linked with a host of players from Memphis Depay to Marouane Fellaini and Ciro Immobile.