Barcelona are reportedly leading the race to sign AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, who is set to be available on a free transfer this summer.
According to a report from Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio, La Liga heavyweights Barcelona have emerged as the front-runners in the race for the signing of Gianluigi Donnarumma, whose contract with Serie A bigwigs AC Milan is on the verge of expiry.
Donnaruma, a youth exponent of the Milan academy, made his first-team debut just aged 16 back in 2015 and has since been the undisputed first-choice between the sticks for the Rossoneri. During this time, the 22-year-old has racked up 251 appearances for the club, managing to secure 88 clean sheets in the process.
Regarded as one of the best young shot-stoppers in Europe, Donnarumma is also the first-choice for the Italian national team. However, the 22-year-old’s time at San Siro is fast approaching an end as he is in the final weeks of his contract and has refused to sign a new deal that Milan have put forth as it does not meet his demands.
Milan, despite having made efforts to retain his services, have conceded defeat and are preparing for life without the 22-year-old, having already secured the signing of French goalkeeper Mike Maignan from Ligue 1 champions LOSC Lille. As for Donnarumma, there is absolutely no shortage of suitors for him, which is not surprising given his young age, massive experience, proven quality and free agency.
Indeed, the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United have been heavily linked with a move for Donnarumma while Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus are also closely monitoring the situation surrounding the 22-year-old Italian international. However, as per the aforementioned report, it is Barcelona who are leading the race for the signing of the goalkeeper.
Reports earlier this month had indicated that Barcelona had been offered the chance to sign Donnarumma by his agent, Mino Raiola, who has a good working relationship with the Catalan club’s president, Joan Laporta. And, it seems like they have decided to take up that offer and move in for the AC Milan custodian, although the move does come as a bit baffling.
In Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Barcelona have a top goalkeeper amongst their ranks. And while second-choice stopper Neto is headed for a summer exit, it is hard to imagine that either of ter Stegen or Donnarumma would be happy to play second-fiddle at Camp Nou. So, it remains to be seen whether there is any development on this front in the coming days. As things stand, though, Donnarumma is certainly heading for an exit from Milan.