With speculation rife over various issues at Milan currently, MilanTalk spoke with the director of MilanNews.it, Antonio Vitiello, to shed some light on some of those specific matters.
The Serie A season remains on hold for now amid the coronavirus pandemic, and so it has led to a focus in the media on off-the-pitch issues at Milan concerning the futures of a number of key individuals.
SEE MORE: Analysis: Alessio Romagnoli’s 2019/20 season so far – Milan captain maturing into reliable leader
It promises to be a busy summer at the club regardless of whether or not we secure Champions League qualification, and with rumours swirling over the futures of key players and potential transfer targets, Vitiello has offered some insight on where those current situations stand.
Resumption of the Serie A season
As noted by Football Italia, Italy’s Minister of Sport, Vincenzo Spadafora, is currently working on plans to reintroduce team training later this month. With doubts still lingering over when the season will resume though, if at all, Vitiello has noted that Milan are in agreement with all 19 other clubs to restart the campaign and plans are in place to resume training in line with government protocol.
“It’s difficult to say that the championship resumes,” he told MilanTalk. “It will be the government to decide, while the clubs want to play. All 20 Serie A clubs are in favour of a restart, but it depends on how the virus falls and the government. Tomorrow (Tuesday), Milan will begin the medical tests with the players, then on the weekend they could begin individual training in Milanello, waiting for the group sessions from May 18.”
Is Rangnick Milan bound?
Rumours continue to link Ralf Rangnick with a switch to Milan ahead of next season, with La Gazzetta dello Sport noting at the weekend that he was quoted as saying that he had held talks with the club, but those were interrupted when the coronavirus outbreak surfaced. So, can Milan fans expect him to arrive this summer?
“I think Rangnick could be the coach of Milan next season, despite the coronavirus,” Vitiello told us. “The pandemic has slowed down several operations, but we know that [CEO Ivan] Gazidis chose Rangnick and was also the reason for [Zvonimir] Boban’s dismissal, because the Croatian felt bypassed by Gazidis. It is not yet done, there are still no signed contracts, but it is possible that the German manager arrives at AC Milan.”
Contract issues over Ibrahimovic, Donnarumma
As per the club’s official site, Zlatan Ibrahimovic rejoined us until the end of the season in January, while his deal includes an option to extend for a further 12 months.
With four goals and an assist in 10 appearances since his return, he’s arguably shown enough to suggest that there is enough left in the tank to warrant an extension.
Meanwhile, Gianluigi Donnarumma’s current contract expires in 2021. With the growing threat of potentially having to consider a sale to avoid losing him for less than his true value as his deal winds down or perhaps even on a free next summer, Milan would arguably be smart to consider an extension offer now. What is the situation with the key duo?
“These are two very complicated operations,” said Vitiello. “For Donnarumma it is an economic issue, because he earns six million euros and the renewal to those figures will weigh so much on the budget of AC Milan. Gigio wants to stay in Milan, but if there are offers from €50 million upwards, the club will evaluate them. For Ibrahimovic, instead it is more a matter of project and stimuli. Zlatan wants to understand the club’s intentions for next year.”
Will Milan go for Tonali?
As noted by Calciomercato last month, Milan made contact with both Brescia and Sandro Tonali’s agent as we could line up a swoop for him this summer.
After impressing last season in their promotion from Serie B, the 19-year-old has continued to shine this season at the top level and having made no secret of being a childhood Milan fan, many supporters would surely love to see him arrive at the San Siro ahead of next season.
That said, just how realistic is a move, and who could be a Plan B option to look out for if it fails to materialise?
“Tonali likes Milan, the problem is the cost. Brescia asks for €40 million and the Rossoneri would not want to spend this money. Besides, there’s a lot of teams looking at him, and it will be hard to get there. An alternative can be [Dominik] Szoboszlai of RB Salzburg, another name chased by Milan.”
Time will tell if we can land Tonali, but it sounds as though it could be a complicated swoop.