Maignan: “I chose Milan after talking to Maldini and Massara, it’s an ambitious project that suits me perfectly”

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Mike Maignan at Casa Milan on May 25, 2021. (@acmilan.com)

Mike Maignan spoke to La Gazzetta dello Sport after joining Milan.

Maignan is the first summer signing of Milan, coming from Lille for €13m + €2m bonuses to replace Gianluigi Donnarumma who will walk as a free agent.

MM16, who is currently with the French national team preparing for EURO 2020, signed a five-year contract after winning the league title with Lille.

The 25-year-old, who kept 21 clean sheets in the past season (the most in Europe) spoke yesterday about his move, as reported by La Gazzetta dello Sport’s Alessandro Grandesso:

“I chose Milan after talking to Paolo Maldini and Frederic Massara. I liked their talk because it is a big, ambitious, project that suits me perfectly. So I decided to sign, also because after so many seasons and so many emotions experienced at Lille – it was time to change.”

Do you feel a little more pressure coming after Donnarumma, who has been a flag bearer for Milan?
“Milan is a great team and it’s normal that in general there is more pressure than at Lille. But I don’t land with the idea of making Donnarumma be forgotten. He remains an important player in the history of the club. I just want to do my job and give my best for this jersey.”

You meet Ibrahimović again, who you know from your time at PSG, and also Leão who preceded you by a couple of seasons…
“There was already a good relationship with Zlatan then, I know he will welcome me just as well at Milan which is a great club with many great players. It’s a good team and I think there will be no problems for me to settle in. Also thanks to Rafael with whom I’ve talked in these days.”

Mike Maignan during a France press conference on May 27, 2021. (@imago-images)

Has Rabiot, with whom you trained at PSG and meet again in the national team, given you any advice, perhaps regarding the Italian language?
“For now I don’t speak Italian yet, but Adrien is already teaching me a few words. I listen to him, he explains their meaning to me and I try to learn. I will be taking lessons this summer, but only after the EUROs that I’m very focused on. I’m happy that with Milan things went fast, also to close the Lille chapter which allowed me to get here.”

Does signing at Milan and facing your first EUROs mean that you are experiencing a crucial moment in your career?
“I certainly feel a lot of happiness, and it doesn’t happen often. I hope to experience other moments like this. But the important thing is to stay focused and live day by day.”

Frederic Massara, Paolo Maldini, Mike Maignan and Ivan Gazidis at Casa Milan on May 25, 2021. (@acmilan.com)

Why did you choose Serie A when in recent years young French players have often preferred the Premier League or the Bundesliga?
“First of all, Milan is one of the great clubs in the world, with a great history and a great record, built also thanks to great players. As a young guy, I’ve always followed Milan matches. I’ve also spoken to Rabiot about Serie A: it’s a very tactical league and the training sessions are very intense, also physically. So it’s ideal for someone like me who wants to continue to improve, also at the mental level, which is a very important aspect. On this point I think I’ve made a lot of progress in the last two years.”

What convinced you in Maldini’s talk?
“I can’t tell you in detail what he said, but I understood that the project is really ambitious and will allow me to continue to progress. But I also know that I can bring something more to this team.”

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Milan10
Milan10
23 days ago

i like how confident and focused maignan is. an ideal gk. so milan next will have european golden glove winner AND a st who finished 4th in golden shoe race. they also have europe’s best lb theo and another young gems like ben, tomori, leao, hauge and tonali. massara/maldini u legends. “I chose Milan after talking to Paolo Maldini and Frederic Massara” maldini has great pulling power and is a great negotiator and moncada + massara are fantastic talent spotters. literally all new players come because their talks with maldini. and the uninitiated want him gone smh. oh, and if… Read more »

Niels8
Niels8
23 days ago
Reply to  Milan10

Which striker are you talking about?

Milan10
Milan10
23 days ago
Reply to  Niels8

well mate, all i can tell u is that that boy looks good in red & black jersey and he’s above haaland, mbappe, lukaku, kane etc on european golden shoe list

Milan10
Milan10
22 days ago
Reply to  Niels8

Mirabelli on André Silva:”He scored more goals than Haaland, it was a pity having sold him so early, just like Manuel Locatelli. Both oh them would have played an important role in the current AC Milan.”
Mirabelli on Kessie:”Like Donnarumma’s case, Franck’s renewal shouldn’t have been treated now. Kessie is one of the best midfielders right now: he kept Milan on his shoulders, it’s a madness to talk about his renewal in this moment. He’s the best in the world in his role.”

well, there’s ur answer. goddammit mirabelli, u should’ve channelled ur inner milan10ian way sooner than that

ZionTrain
ZionTrain
22 days ago
Reply to  Milan10

Mirabelli and Fassone were the worst directors at Milan. Bunch of idiots that really don’t know talent and they sure as hell didn’t know how to build a winning team. Just imagine what we could have done with 200m now. None of the players they signed are still at Milan. The majority of the players they signed were huge flops including Andre Silva. This is no disrespect to you but Mirabelli and Fassone are idiots. They are the reason Milan got caught up with Dollarumma contract issues. Signing Biglia on a high salary was beyond ridiculous and stupid not to… Read more »

Milan10
Milan10
21 days ago
Reply to  ZionTrain

“Mirabelli and Fassone were the worst directors at Milan” u dont have to tell me mate. i also read what milan10 wrote 4 yrs ago DURING their reign. talking in retrospect is useless. what u need to do is be thankful for maldini’s existence because he’s been doing great job so far. “The majority of the players they signed were huge flops including Andre Silva.” u need to learn to differentiate between flops and players not getting enough chances. andriy finished 4th on european golden shoe list with 28 goals, better than ur idol haaland. put some respect on his… Read more »

Dwayne k27ism
Dwayne k27ism
23 days ago

MM16 imho sounds like a decent and humble guy who just wants to make his way in the universe. Not even going to overstep Gigio and is just focused on what he has to do. That’s the making of a dedicated and practical man. He’s mature and knows what he can do for the squad. I haven’t seen him play, only on YouTube videos but if he can keep a clean sheet against Milan away and have his side defeat us 3-0 (Hatrick Yazici) then obviously he raised some eyebrows back then and deserves a shot with us. Just like… Read more »

Oluwashevy
23 days ago

Humble you will do well within Does goal post of yours and you will enjoy the winning and trophies with Milan You have spoken well I believe all will change come next season fans will return and hope the management give us a good mercato so we can enjoy watching our beloved club as for Donna nothing to say he is a snake we all know,and where does snake end up in the food chain it’s the belle of an eagle best of luck to the rossoneri and we the faithful supporters

Roberto Giano
23 days ago

Yes. We have still a strong goalkeeper

Roberto Giano
23 days ago
Reply to  Roberto Giano

now let’s pursue upfront position. If Calha leaves, we can focus on 442 that gives space to Hauge on the left

Deku
Deku
23 days ago
Reply to  Roberto Giano

we did at the beginning of Pioli’s reign, we should stick to 4-2-3-1, which showed constant success.

Nathan Graegin
Nathan Graegin
21 days ago
Reply to  Deku

Problem is that formation isn’t very offensive if you don’t have players fast enough to support the forward. Our game plan is long ball and our right and cam players are too slow to help zlatan or whoever. Our left can but if no one else can, we become stretched and out of position. A 352 or 343 would work best in my opinion. City, Bayern and Dortmund play 4231 but look at the players they have. We aren’t there unfortunately

Coach Seedorf
Coach Seedorf
23 days ago

Welcome Mike!! I’m happy you joined us. On to the next move, De Paul where are you?

Nino
Nino
22 days ago
Reply to  Coach Seedorf

Sadly, De Paul is managed by Raiola. Very doubtful Milan will do business with him.

ZionTrain
ZionTrain
22 days ago
Reply to  Nino

Actually he isn’t but somehow Raiola is involved in his transfer and I don’t really understand why. But Raiola is not De Paul’s agent.

Ted
Ted
23 days ago

I’m really excited for him, he seems determined with strong and mature character. Wishing him a successful season! On another note, there are some rumours surfacing again about a winger Maldini pursuited already before – Correa. He is similar to De Paul and maybe there could be some exchange involving Romagnoli as Atletico are still showing interest. I don’t want Romagnoli to leave but realistically speaking he hasn’t evolved into what was expected from him. Tomori is way ahead of him.

Suracho
Suracho
22 days ago

FORZA MILAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NOW IF WE WANT TO WIN SCUDETTP NEXT SEASON WE WILL NEED TO INVEST PROPERLY INTO ESTABLISHED VETERANS WE NEED A ST, A CAM IF HAKAN CALHGOAENLU LEAVES AND RENEWING ALL THE LOANS IS A MUST. MY FAVOURITE FOR THE ST POSITION IS GIROUD. HE IS THE ST WE NEED TO SOLVE OUR NUMBER 9 CURSE. AND ON TOP OF HIS TALENT, HE CAN COME FOR CHEAP WHICH CAN HELP US TO SPEND MORE MONEY IN A CAM. FOR THE CAM I WOULD GO FOR DE PAUL. ALTHOUGH I DONT KNOW IF HE WILL BE AS CREATIVE AS… Read more »

ZahidHossain
ZahidHossain
21 days ago

We shouldn’t miss Mikhitaryan if he is agree to join Milan, He involved around 20 goals(score+assis) n he is a free agent… A versatile player with CL experience must not be ignored… We should also buy Belotti, Ikone n Illicic(cheap n CL experience)

elpatomilan
elpatomilan
21 days ago

I read a recent news today that Donnaruma has reached out to Juventus with the same salary (€6mil) that he was receiving at Milan. Must have caught him off-guard and he really didn’t see this coming from Maldini and co. D. should have accepted the €8mil offered on the table (and it was only 2 year-length, and also had a relatively low buy-out figure should Milan fail to reach CL in any of those seasons). Bad advise taken from his agent, and again, bad decision from Donnaruma – objective fact from third-party perspective, which resulted for D. to be desperate… Read more »

Nesta1
Nesta1
20 days ago
Reply to  elpatomilan

Just read know one is agreeing to his terms, this could be a massive mistake listening to his greedy agent. Can you imagine if he is left with 2 options,no club next season or have to accept the same milan offered him at another club lol