Nikola Kalinić is now officially a Milan player and he’ll be wearing the #7 shirt.
Milan have been looking for another striker for over a month and the name of Nikola Kalinić was always high on the list of the interesting profiles Montella, Mirabelli and Fassone all agreed on.
At the end of last week, an agreement between Milan and Fiorentina was finally reached, and after yesterday’s medical at La Madonnina clinic and at Milanello, the Croatian arrived at Casa Milan for the official signing and of course, the triple handshake.
“Milan are delighted to announce the signing of Kalinić from Fiorentina ACF on a loan deal with obligation to buy. The player has penned a 4-year contract through to 30 June 2021,” a statement on the Rossoneri’s website reads, confirming the arrival of the 29-year-old ex-Dnipro man.
It is believed that Milan will pay Fiorentina €5m for the loan while the buy-out is set at €20m. The player is expected to earn €3.5m per season including bonuses. Kalinić is the 11th signing of the summer, after Mateo Musacchio, Franck Kessié, Ricardo Rodriguez, André Silva, Fabio Borini, Hakan Çalhanoğlu, Andrea Conti, Antonio Donnarumma, Leonardo Bonucci and Lucas Biglia.
Milannews.it suggests that Kalinić will not travel with the squad to Skopje for the Europa match against KF Shkëndija and will instead stay at Milanello to train, so his debut in a Milan shirt can be against Cagliari at San Siro next Sunday, in front of President Yonghong Li who’ll attend the game.
“Good morning everyone,” Fassone said to the fans watching Kalinić’s announcement live on Facebook, with the player and DS Mirabelli alongside him. “We are here, we had lost a bit of the rhythm in this last month. I think that with Nikola we have completed the squad, having signed 11 new players this season, and I think with Nikola it has been a strong more than two months long.
“We are here today to officially announce him because he wanted Milan so much. He has immense passion for our jersey, so has his family. This has made it possible for Massimiliano and I to put a positive end this negotiation with Fiorentina. I think that we started talks with Fiorentina and with his entourage back in June, two months have gone by [the Viola initially wanted €30m for him].
“He was the player we wanted to complete our squad for his experience and quality. We have always said that we wanted a mix of young, talented and more experienced players, create our backbone with experienced players: Bonucci, Biglia and now Nikola who completes our squad. Finally, almost at the end of August, we made it, we are happy and proud that Nikola is officially a Milan player.”
Mirabelli added: “I want to welcome Nikola, as Fassone said he kept us busy for a few months, but we really have appreciated how he strongly wanted to become a Rossonero. But now we want to stay to him enough with the jokes – send the ball to the back of the net, otherwise we’ll send you back.”
Watch Nikola Kalinic's first medicals in Milan 🎥
Guarda le prime visite mediche di Nikola Kalinic a Milano 🎥 pic.twitter.com/QdxMsDibd3
— AC Milan (@acmilan) August 21, 2017
Speaking to MilanTV, Kalinić, who scored 20 goals last season, said: “What convinced me about Milan’s project? I’m very pleased to be here, I’m very happy, this is a new start and I hope everything goes well. I can only say that I will give everything on the pitch to help the team and to win.
“I’ve already been to Milanello and met coach Montella [Vincenzo strongly wanted to sign the forward]? It went well. We only spoke for five minutes. He told me: ‘finally you have arrived’. That was about it. If I’m ready to play more for the team and contribute in the defensive phase? Yes, of course, I am ready. I am only focusing on the team and preparing myself for the season.
“I scored a lot against big teams in my two years in Italy? Yes, I must continue [scoring] like this. Now with Milan I hope to keep as I’ve been doing. Let’s see, I will give everything on the pitch. The hat-trick I scored against Inter in 2015? That was my first match at San Siro and it was great.
“Scoring three goals in Italy is hard, it made me very, very happy. If I feel the pressure of playing at San Siro or if I’m excited about my first match at home [many fans are expected at San Siro against Cagliari]? No, I don’t feel pressure at all. I’m only focused on playing well and only that.
“If there is a special reason why I chose the #7 shirt? Not really. My number is 9 but this time it wasn’t possible because André Silva has it. Number 7 was available so I took it, only because of that.”