NEWS
Thursday October 12 2017
Mirabelli: 'Bonucci was not planned'

Milan director of sport Massimiliano Mirabelli confessed Leonardo Bonucci was “not planned” and Mino Raiola is “an actor who likes the spotlight.”

The chief spoke to Radio Rossonera this evening and gave some background to the €220m spent over the summer under new owner Yonghong Li.

You can read Part Two of his comments here.

“It was a difficult transfer campaign, you experienced it with us. We were catapulted into it, as everyone knows, and it wasn’t easy to give guarantees to those who called us, from clubs to players… and we received a lot of calls.

“Bonucci could not have been a planned move, because we had no idea there was the chance we could get him from Juventus. I would never have imagined they’d allow such an important player to walk away.

“When I found myself with (agent Alessandro) Lucci and he kept making references to Bonucci, I told him not to waste my time. Up until I actually spoke to Leo to verify it and saw he really did want to come to Milan did I acknowledge there was a genuine chance. I spoke to (CEO Marco) Fassone and told him ‘either we close this deal in 24-48 hours or we let it go.’ And we did it.”

The biggest soap opera of the summer at San Siro was around Gianluigi Donnarumma, as Mirabelli and agent Raiola repeatedly clashed in public and private.

“Raiola is one of the most important agents in the world, he deals with big players and we’re not talking about someone who works without a plan.

“When he said ‘Donnarumma won’t sign a contract renewal,’ we were disconcerted, but still fought and pushed forward until we found an agreement.”

Even after the new deal was signed, Raiola continued to tell the media that he doesn’t “believe” in the Milan project.

“He is a bit of an actor, he likes the spotlight and says these things because in part talking about Milan means he will get his name in the papers, even if he doesn’t need it.

“It has to be said, not believing in our project is a bit offensive towards the players he has working with us, but that’s part of the game.

“A Milan that is being reborn is effectively an irritant to others. Everyone has their own ideas, some are positive and others negative.”

Vincenzo Montella is under pressure after two consecutive defeats and goes into the Derby della Madonnina on Sunday. Mirabelli was therefore asked about the rumours Milan are targeting Antonio Conte from Chelsea.

“We have a Coach who we admire a great deal, so we are not thinking about other Coaches.”