Friday July 21 2017
‘Milan like Belotti, but…’

Milan sporting director Massimiliano Mirabelli confirms they like Andrea Belotti but “you can’t always get the things you like”.

The Rossoneri are in the market for a striker and the Italian international is one of their top targets, but Torino insist he costs €100m, despite his release clause only being valid outside Serie A.

“It’s true that we’re looking for a striker, but we’re not in a hurry and we’ll take the best one for us,” Mirabelli told Corriere dello Sport.

“Belotti? We like great players and he’s one of those. You can’t always get the things you like though, the asking price and the offer would have to dovetail…

“The valuation that we put on Belotti is the highest in the history of Milan [believed to be €60m].

“Is Nikola Kalinic the second choice? For journalists he could be considered a second choice, we don’t have first, second or third choices.

“As far as we’re concerned they’re all first choices, and we have to combine technical and financial considerations. Kalinic is also a great player, just like Belotti, the difference lies in their age.

“Renato Sanches? I know him from his time at Benfica. He’s a great player and we have a really good rapport with Bayern [Munich].

“We’re in an assessment phase but I can’t rule out this as an operation we could do.”

Aside from all of this summer’s signings, perhaps the greatest coup of the new directors was convincing Gianluigi Donnarumma to renew his contract.

“I never thought of losing Donnarumma, we worked so hard on the lad and his family. They never doubted the choice, they didn’t want to leave Milan.

“We were meeting with one of the best and most important agents in the world [Mino Raiola], but we ensured Donnarumma stayed under our conditions.

“For us the release clause is irrelevant, what really matters is that Donnarumma is Milan’s goalkeeper: he’s an important value for this team and this club.

“Our goal is to keep him forever, we’d have to make a film about these negotiations…

“There was too much clamour surrounding this story, I used to pretend to take a plane, then I’d get in the car and face a long journey to speak to the other party.

“At the age of 18, with so many offers to choose from, he [Donnarumma] is allowed to reflect on his future but he stayed at Milan.

“If he did that it’s because he loves this shirt, and Milan fans need to remember that. He could have gone anywhere.

“Many clubs approached us with his agent, but we never considered letting him go anywhere.

“Raiola? We have a direct relationship and at times there were raised voices because I was defending Milan and he was defending Gigio.

“After the signing we cleared the air with a phone call.

“The future? We haven’t completed our work yet, we’re a construction site which won’t close on September 1, because at that point we’ll have to support [Coach Vincenzo] Montella.

“He’s a great Coach, but he’s not a wizard and he doesn’t have a magic wand. He’ll need the club’s support, and he’ll get it.”