AC Milan were left devastated as their teenage starlet Gianluigi Donnarumma opted to reject a contract extension, hence leaving the possibility of a summer exit wide open.
“Everyone knows my wish is to stay at Milan”, said Italian wonderkid Gianluigi Donnarumma almost a year ago when questioned regarding his future. Fast forward 12 months and he has just sent out a statement through agent Mino Raiola that he will not sign an extension with his boyhood club leaving the field open for a high profile exit this summer.
The prodigious 18-year-old talent has caught the eye of the entire continent since breaking onto the scene in October 2015 and has since been a regular in goal making 68 appearances for the Rossoneri aside earning 5 caps for the Italian national team.
Being viewed as the successor to Gianluigi Buffon, Milan had high hopes for the future, as evidenced by their work in the transfer window so far. It’s no surprise that Donnarumma’s refusal to sign a contract would leave them visibly devastated.
In quotes carried by La Gazzetta dello Sport, the club director Marco Fassone told a press conference: “We are disheartened. Mino Raiola has conveyed to me Donnarumma’s decision not to renew. It’s his final decision.”
“We were confident that Gigio would be the goalkeeper of this new Milan; a pillar upon which we would build, but now we have to re-evaluate everything.
In the past few days, sporting director Massimiliano Mirabelli [the club’s director of sport] made a very big offer to the player, who evaluated it and today he informed us that he did not intend to renew,” added Fassone.
This decision will obviously attract the attention of all the big guns across the continent. Juventus, Manchester City, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Paris Saint Germain, FC Barcelona have long been known to have documented an interest in the player.
Milan were so confident of the player staying that they claimed even an offer in the region of €100 million wouldn’t be enough to acquire the player’s services. However, with Donnarumma’s decision now, they could be forced to sell the player for less than half that price, although he could still break the record for the most expensive goalkeeping signing in history.
Real Madrid have been looking to upgrade their goalkeeping arsenal by potentially replacing Keylor Navas with the Italian wonderkid, even cooling their interest in long sought-after target David De Gea in the process.
Conversely, Manchester United were fiercely in pursuit of the youngster fearing the imminent departure of De Gea to Madrid but with Zidane withdrawing his interest in the Spaniard, Jose has turned his attention to other areas of the park reassured that the goalkeeping mantle will remain with De Gea next season.
AC Milan have done good business in the transfer window so far adding Franck Kessie, Ricardo Rodriguez, Andre Silva and Mateo Mussachio to their squad in under less than a month. With Donnarumma’s potential departure the Rossoneri have another item to shop for this summer.