Dani Olmo’s father has spoken about what’s next in the career of his son, claiming the midfielder feels it’s time to leave Dinamo Zagreb and he wants a club where he will play a lot.
Milan’s number one target for the attack is Ángel Correa of Atlético Madrid but the club has also been linked recently with a move for Dani Olmo of Dinamo Zagreb.
Olmo was the star of Spain U21 team in the last European competition which they won earlier in the summer, beating Florian Neuhaus’s Germany U21 in the final. It is believed that Milan Chief Football Officer, Zvonimir Boban, is a big fan of Olmo and the player’s father has stated that it would take €40m to sign Dani, who scored 12 goals and assisted 3 more in 44 games in all competitions.
“How is Dani living this great moment after the triumph in the U21 EURO’s? It was definitely the most important season in Dani’s sporting life,” Miquel said in an interview with Calciomercato.com. “Not only because of the EURO’s, but he was also elected the Best Player in the Croatian league by all the coaches and captains of the opponents. He was included in the Best XI, he won the award for the Best Young Player. He also had a great season in the Europa League, securing several important wins with Dinamo Zagreb who had not qualified for the next round for almost 40 years.
“The ending was beautiful: a great EURO’s with Spain. As you know, he hadn’t started well against Italy, we had lost 3-1 and in that game Dani hadn’t played. And after those 90 minutes there were changes, my son joined the starting XI and was able to maintain a great level; he ended up being the best Spanish scorer of the EURO’s, scoring a goal in the final and entering the Best XI of the competition. I believe, without a doubt, that he could not write a better story for his family and for those around him.
“The relationship between the Olmo family and football, considering I was also a player and coach? Dani has lived this sport with great passion and participation. He started as a child with his older brother, playing on his own squad. Dani has always seen his brother as a point of reference. We are a family of sportsmen, not only have I had a professional career but also his uncle, my brother, is a coach. Dani’s godfather is an athletic trainer and he was in Italy in the ranks of Udinese. When he was very small, we always took care of making him learn other sports like tennis. Especially in the summer, when football was stopped, Dani played other sports like swimming or basketball. We always thought that he should know more than just football.
“Who is his favorite athlete? Nadal, without a doubt. Nadal is the best Spanish athlete of all time. He is an icon, a reference point for everyone. I always say that to get to the level where Dani arrived, you must have talent. But the best of Dani is in head and that’s why he has Nadal as a reference point.
“The decision to leave Barcelona for Dinamo Zagreb at age 16? Making this decision, and Dani often stressed it, was the most difficult of his life. I was coaching in the Spanish second division and they massacred me, they told me I was crazy and they told me that I was ruining the career of my son, that I was responsible for it. Today everything has changed, they say that we were brave, courageous and that was the best decision; everything depends on the outcome, while I have always taught my children that in life not everything depends on it. One must be able to make choices in one’s life. Now we are very happy with how Dani is doing. Leaving Barcelona was not easy, especially if you are the captain. He was in the national team. He left to go to the best Croatian club but to a small league, it’s not easy.
“The rumours about Olmo returning to Barcelona? At Barcelona there are two schools of thought: the first is that if a player leaves he must not return, the second understands that a player like Dani may have the chance to return to a football that he knows, that created him, as an athlete and a footballer, which can still give so much. Now it’s difficult because Barcelona is a great club and this is a transcendental moment in Dani’s career. More than the size of the club, Dani needs a club with a sporting project that is based on his qualities. He must have the chance to play and grow.
“If Milan is one of the possible teams for Dani? It’s true, we met Milan when Leonardo was there. I don’t know if his farewell, the change of sporting director or the fact that they couldn’t reach an agreement with Dinamo has cooled the interest. If there are no more chances with the Rossoneri? I honestly don’t know, it’s not a question for me. What I can say is that Milan is one of the biggest clubs and for any player of level it must be a pride and a chance to play with that shirt.
“If Dani will stay at Dinamo Zagreb or leave the club? Right now I don’t know, he has a contract with Dinamo. The club knows our will to leave, we believe it’s the right time. Not only for Dani’s objectives but also for Dinamo themselves, they can do a good and interesting economic operation. Dani must have the chance to go to a top-level league. There are many clubs that are interested but I cannot make names or list then out of respect for them.
“If in Italy only Milan were interested? We had two meetings in Italy, one with Milan and one with another big club. To reach an agreement, you need to find an agreement with Dinamo Zagreb. If the assessment of Dinamo is €40m? Yes, that’s right.
“What would be the ideal league for Olmo? More than a league, we are looking for the project. What the club thinks, or the coach. We want a similar project to the one Dinamo proposed to us five years ago, but projected to the dimension that my son has conquered in the football scene.
“My son wants to play: if Real Madrid or Barcelona came arrive but without the possibility of playing then it wouldn’t be a good stage for him.”