Sunday, November 19, 2017

Montella denies AC Milan captaincy promise to Donnarumma

SoccerNews in Serie A 26 Aug 2017

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AC Milan head coach Vincenzo Montella has rejected Mino Raiola’s claim that Gianluigi Donnarumma was promised the club captaincy.

Donnarumma’s future became an early pre-season source of intrigue as the teenage goalkeeper was heavily linked to Real Madrid.

Raiola played a prominent role in the saga, that concluded with the Italy international signing a renewed contract at San Siro until 2021.

The agent told Rai Sport Donnarumma was offered the Milan armband during the negotiations, only for Leonardo Bonucci to lead the side following his high-profile arrival from Juventus.

Speaking ahead of Sunday’s Serie A match at Cagliari, Montella refuted the notion of any such agreement being in place.

“I respect everyone, but often too much importance is given to what others say,” he said.

“The club never told me to give the armband to Gigio, let alone promised it to the lad or his entourage.

“He was told that maybe, over time, he would get it, but that is very different.”

Milan’s latest big-money buy, Croatia striker Nikola Kalinic, could be in line for a debut this weekend.

“We are very happy to have Kalinic, Andre Silva and Patrick Cutrone and, playing every three days, there will be room for everyone,” Montella, a masterful marksman in his own playing days, added.

“Nikola is training with the side, a little bit behind the others physically, but he has a chance of playing.” 

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