Cristian Zapata, Ignazio Abate, Riccardo Montolivo, Andrea Bertolacci and Josè Mauri will all leave Milan at the end of the season, it seems.
Milan are still fighting for a place in next year’s Champions League, but Ivan Gazidis, Leonardo and Paolo Maldini are already thinking about the 2019/20 squad.
Five players have expiring contacts at the end of the season (worth a reported total of nearly €10m net per season in salaries), and according to reports in Italy – none of them will be getting new contracts.
It’s practically a given that Riccardo Montolivo, Andrea Bertolacci and Josè Mauri will leave as they’ve played a total of less than 460 minutes this season. According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, however, Ignazio Abate and Cristian Zapata are also on their way out of the club as free agents.
Milannews.it has gone into details in regards to the Zapata case: as reported by the reliable Antonio Vitiello, the Colombian center back is getting close to saying goodbye after seven seasons. There was a meeting in January between Leonardo and Iván Córdoba, the agent of Zapata. The request of the player was a 2-year deal worth €1.7m, which is the same salary he earns today.
The Rossoneri, however, never complied with the requests of Zapata and had offered him a one-year deal. In addition, in January there was a possibility of Zapata leaving, with Fenerbahçe in pole position to sign him, but the leadership decided not to let go of him due to the injury of Caldara.
A month after the meeting with Córdoba, Leonardo called him to say that the club has changed its mind in regards to the contract proposal and they can no longer offer him a one-year deal for reasons of costs. Since then, Zapata has received no signals that he’d be getting a new deal. Vitiello adds that Zapata would only accept a two-year contract and so an exit seems inevitable.
Zapata and Abate have both served Milan well this season as Gattuso’s side has suffered many injuries. A revolution in midfield and attack is expected, but there may be some additions in defense.