Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Donnarumma always wanted to stay, claims AC Milan sporting director

SoccerNews in Serie A 11 Jan 2018

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Gianluigi Donnarumma “always expressed his desire to stay” at AC Milan despite controversy relating to his contract extension, according to the club’s sporting director Massimiliano Mirabelli.

The 18-year-old goalkeeper renewed his contract with the club in July, committing to Milan until 2021 and ending – at least temporarily – the mounting speculation about interest from some of Europe’s biggest clubs, such as Real Madrid and Juventus.

But reports in December suggested Donnarumma’s agent Mino Raiola wanted the agreement cancelled as the youngster felt pressured into signing the extension, with an annulment allowing him to leave on a free at the end of the season.

Those stories led to Milan’s ultras unfurling a banner during the Coppa Italia win over Verona which read “Our patience is finished”, leaving the teenager in tears.

The situation has since calmed and Mirabelli, who was eager to defend his transfer dealings as sporting director, is adamant Donnarumma has always insisted he wanted to stay.

“The figures [that Milan spent in the transfer market] aren’t excessive in my opinion,”Mirabelli told Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Everyone talks about the total outlay, but I implore you to analyse it. We haven’t overpaid for anyone and I’ll tell you something else – if, hypothetically, we sold some of our new buys in the window, we would make money on them.

“I consider them all to be valid players that form a solid group and give us peace of mind for the future. They form a solid centre for Milan and, although many of them are not living up to expectations, there are no flops.

“And don’t forget, we brought in a good amount from sales, and then look at who renewed their contracts: Donnarumma, [Patrick] Cutrone, [Davide] Calabria and [Alessandro] Plizzari.

“Gigio [Donnarumma] renewed with great joy and has always expressed his desire to remain at Milan. We would be very happy if he finished his career here.

“The moment he doesn’t want to stay – which is not the case now – we would favour an exit. No one stays reluctantly.”

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