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Montella unconcerned by Juventus links to Donnarumma

SoccerNews in Serie A 19 Nov 2016

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AC Milan coach Vincenzo Montella is unfazed by teenage goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma being persistently linked with a move to Juventus.

Donnarumma is seen as the heir to Juve and Italy icon Gianluigi Buffon, whose contract in Turin expires at the end of next season.

The 17-year-old was part of Giampiero Ventura’s Azzurri squad during the international break and Juve chief executive Giuseppe Marotta said the Serie A champions “always want to have the best goalkeepers”.

His comments did not affect Milan coach Montella, though, who knows such rumours are part of modern football.

“Marotta’s words don’t bother me. We always talk about the market now, it’s normal and you get used to it,” he said ahead of Sunday’s derby with rivals Inter.

Montella is not willing to risk Alessio Romagnoli for the fixture at San Siro after the centre-back sustained a groin injury while on international duty, but would not reveal whether it would be Cristian Zapata or Gustavo Gomez who replaces him.

He said: “For Alessio there are very few hopes. We cannot risk losing a player for months. It will mean that we will have to do more.

“I believe that together they [Romagnoli and Gabriel Paletta] developed an affinity as a pair that makes the difference. From playing together you know the strengths and weaknesses of your partner.

“Zapata’s condition is improving, he has trained regularly for a few weeks. He cannot play the whole game, though often the experience makes you overcome the lack of conditioning.

“I have chosen between the two, but I will not say. Gomez came back well. He is improving despite having few minutes of play. He is on the right track.”

Montella faces a choice between Carlos Bacca, without a goal in his last five Milan outings, and Gianluca Lapadula, who came off the bench to score the winner against Palermo last time out, to spearhead the Rossoneri attack.

“[Bacca] is 30 years old and has played and scored a lot in his life. He does not have to prove anything anymore. He has to stay calm,” he said.

“[Lapadula] is eager to play, but should feel comfortable. For me it is a sweet problem. I feel calm because both will give me what I need. I am very clear in what my choice will be.”

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