The San Siro chief has described the Italian shot-stopper as an “exceptional professional” ahead of his departure
AC Milan chief executive Ivan Gazidis has insisted that he still holds exit-bound goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma in “absolute esteem”, while admitting that the controversial Super League “is dead”.
Donnarumma is set to bring the curtain down on his six-year career at San Siro when his contract expires at the end of the month.
Milan were ultimately unable to tie the 22-year-old down to an extension, but Gazidis bears no ill-feeling towards the Italian shot-stopper.
What’s been said?
The Rossoneri CEO refused to offer an insight into negotiations with the player and his agent Mino Raiola when quizzed on his imminent departure by Corriere dello Sport.
“I don’t want to reveal the details, nor the timing, and I don’t know the boundaries of the relationship between Gigio and Raiola,” Gazidis told the Italian publication. “In the end, of course, the decision is always the player’s.
“What I can say is that Gigio was an exceptional professional, every single day, and in the last match against Atalanta there was no one happier than him for qualifying for the Champions League.
“I have absolute esteem for him, as well as respect his choices. No negative accent. He did what he thought was best for him, and there are a few reasons on his side, but I don’t say which ones.”
Donnarumma’s Milan record
Donnarumma made his competitive debut for Milan as a 16-year-old back in 2015, and has since racked up 251 appearances for the Serie A giants.
The Italy international has also recorded 88 clean sheets, but will leave San Siro with just a solitary Supercoppa Italiana triumph to his name.
Gazidis on the Super League
Gazidis went on to weigh in on the controversial Super League unveiling that rocked the football world in April, conceding it is impossible for the plans to go ahead after the withdrawal of nine of the original 12 founding clubs, including Milan.
However, the 56-year-old businessman still believes drastic changes are necessary at the highest level after the financial struggles top clubs have faced during the coronavirus pandemic, as he added: “The Super League, as it was conceived, is dead. However, the problems that led to that project remain unaffected.
“Everyone in football, especially those in charge of regulating it, must seriously reflect on the origins of the evils and on what can be done – together – to achieve better and sustainable football.
“Gianni Infantino said something about it, don’t let me add more … People talk about greed. Our club lost €200 million last year. Is it greedy to try to chase zero, the breakeven point? Is it greedy to say that we would be happy if we reached it? Losing €200 million means something has broken. We are not unique, it concerns everyone.”