It’s that time of the year where Gianluigi Donnarumma exit rumours are never far away, and this summer is seemingly not going to disappoint either.
While it was relatively quiet over the course of last season, it’s no real surprise that with ongoing FFP concerns and the failure to qualify for the Champions League that the 20-year-old is being linked with a departure again with Paris Saint-Germain reportedly eyeing a move.
As per Gianluca Di Marzio, negotiations are underway between the two clubs and it’s suggested that while Donnarumma is valued at €50m, an offer of Alphonse Areola and €20m could be made to the Rossoneri in order to reach a deal.
While not everything the Sky Sport Italia journalist says is gospel, he has established a solid reputation of being a reliable source of transfer news, and that is ultimately what makes this so concerning.
On one hand, no player is bigger than the club and individuals can be replaced. In that sense, it’s not the end of the world losing Donnarumma, although it will certainly be a huge disappointment to see him leave.
Nevertheless, what softens the blow is if the deal makes sense, and sadly the one reported by Di Marzio above, seems to make very little.
The first issue is the valuation. For a 20-year-old goalkeeper who has already established himself as one of the world’s best and who has his entire career ahead of him still, he must surely be worthy of a vastly bigger transfer fee considering how much the likes of Alisson and Kepa Arrizabalaga have reportedly moved for over the last 12 months.
As noted by MilanNews.it, Di Marzio noted that the reasoning behind the touted €50m figure is that the Italian international only has two years remaining on his current contract and there are no negotiations for a renewal.
Despite that, we’re talking about a generational talent who has proven just how valuable he can be over the past four years, and €50m seems like such a low figure not in line with the sacrifice we’re seemingly having to make.
Why Areola swap deal?
The idea of including Areola in a player swap deal is also baffling, as while some may well rate the 26-year-old highly, it seems wholly unnecessary still.
Milan could promote Pepe Reina as given his experience and quality, despite turning 37 this summer, will still make him a reliable and calming influence between the posts.
More importantly though, Alessandro Plizzari has long been touted as a natural heir to Donnarumma, and the 19-year-old has been busy making quite the impression at the U20 World Cup this summer.
So why block his path to stepping up the pecking order? By all means Milan could look to add another depth option, but in Reina and Plizzari they already have short and long term solutions in place.
Losing a generational talent and one of our own
Donnarumma has created controversy along the way and while some of the blame can be attributed to his agent, Mino Raiola, he has sparked anger with Milan fans in the past due to issues over his future.
However, were he to finally leave this summer, it would be a huge disappointment and a painful sight to see him flourish elsewhere having come through the youth ranks at Milan and matured so quickly to become one of the top players in his position in Europe under our guidance.
Perhaps he’s the obvious solution to ease FFP woes and there’s perhaps no interest in other players who the management could be willing to sacrifice first. Those factors need to be considered too, but if this is one of the first big deals that Paolo Maldini, Zvonimir Boban and Marco Giampaolo oversee, it is far from an ideal start as this particular touted deal sounds like an absolute disaster from our perspective.
To make matters worse, the tweet below would suggest that Donnarumma is keen to stay, and it’s just hoped that not only do Milan end talks for the rumoured deal above, but also receive interest in other players to avoid losing Donnarumma altogether.
Donnarumma's will is to stay at Milan and informed some of his relatives that. However, Raiola is pushing him to leave and Gigio also understands his club's need to sell him [via @Guillaumemp]
— Milan Eye (@MilanEye) June 26, 2019