MilanTalk spoke to Antonio Vitiello of MilanNews.it this week and gained some interesting insight on a number of key issues at Milan heading into the summer.
As noted by the Guardian earlier this week, it has been suggested that Ralf Rangnick has already agreed to become the next coach of the Rossoneri from next season, while he may yet also become sporting director at the club too.
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Naturally, if that appointment was to materialise as suggested, that would ultimately lead to exits for current incumbents Stefano Pioli and Paolo Maldini, as they would effectively be replaced by the German.
The knock-on effect of such a major decision at those levels will be felt in the squad too, both in terms of exits and signings as Rangnick will undoubtedly want to stamp his mark on the squad.
So, we asked Vitiello how the situation currently stands and what decisions we can expect from Milan ahead of next season…
Pioli and Rangnick…
Q: There were reports this week that Ralf Rangnick has now agreed to become coach next season, is that decision 100% made? Is there any chance that Stefano Pioli stays given our impressive recent form?
A: “Rangnick will be the next coach and director at AC Milan, there are no more doubts. Indeed, talks are already underway with agents for the market. Pioli has done a good job, but will leave Milan.”
Q: What would Rangnick’s arrival mean for current director and club legend Paolo Maldini?
A: “It’s unlikely that Maldini will stay at Milan. From what we know, Paolo will not accept a new role in the club, and does not want to work alongside Rangnick in that lesser role. The percentage of seeing Maldini at Milan next year is low.”
Transfer plans – who will stay?
Q: What’s the latest on whether or not Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Giacomo Bonaventura and Simon Kjaer will stay as their current deals expire this summer? Has there been any progress in Gianluigi Donnarumma’s contract talks and signing Ante Rebic on a permanent basis?
A: “Milan want to keep Donnarumma, with his contract expiring next year. Soon there will be a meeting with his agent [Mino] Raiola, the idea is to extend the contract for two years, confirming the wage of €6m-per-season.
Milan also want to sign Rebic outright. It’s unlikely that Ibrahimovic will remain because of his age and the project of the club, and the same goes for Bonaventura. On Kjaer, there are ongoing evaluations over whether or not he will be redeemed.”
Transfer plans – who could arrive?
Q: And lastly, Dominik Szoboszlai is being heavily linked with joining us [as noted by Calciomercato]. Is he a priority for Milan this summer? Are there others Milan will prioritise?
A: “Szoboszlai is one of the main targets for the market. Milan like him a lot and the player also wants to come. They still need to close the deal, and Rangnick could be key in that for Milan to get it done. There are other targets such as [Tiemoue] Bakayoko, [Wesley] Fofana of Saint-Etienne, Florentino Luis (Benfica) and [Kristoffer] Ajer. [Denzel] Dumfries is also appreciated.”