Thursday June 15 2017
Done with Donnarumma

Gianluigi Donnarumma is walking out on his supposedly beloved Milan and it’s too easy to blame Mino Raiola, writes Susy Campanale.

Just weeks after we all wept at the sheer beauty of Francesco Totti ending a lifetime in the Roma jersey, we are faced with a stark reminder of how hard people in this sport can be. Gianluigi Donnarumma has turned down a new contract with Milan.

What more could Milan have done? Nothing. He was launched from the youth academy into the first team at the age of 16, turned into a superstar and given the chance to earn senior Italy caps at 18. Offered a reported €4.5m per year salary to remain at San Siro, with the side he supposedly supported. If there’s one element here who cannot be blamed, it’s the Rossoneri hierarchy.

The easiest man to point the finger at is agent Mino Raiola, who relishes his role as a pantomime sneering villain, drowning in cash and yet forever looking as if he just rolled out of a pizza joint with sauce down his shirt. I’ve never seen the man with sauce on his shirt, but Raiola has the aura of sauce stains. It’s part of his being.

Adriano Galliani had few qualities as a CEO for Milan, but the best was being very good friends with Raiola and therefore able to curb his worst instincts. We’ve seen the representative ruin rapports between fans and the likes of Paul Pogba, Mario Balotelli and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Warning to Juventus supporters – he’s already representing Moise Kean, so prepare to get involved in another of these scenarios soon.

It’s too easy, though. Raiola is an unpleasant figure, everyone knows that and it’s part of his power. It’s also why a lot of players hire him in the first place. Donnarumma is 18 years old, but he’s very mature for his age and knows his own mind. Let’s not pretend he’s being brainwashed or dominated by Raiola, here. Gigio knows what he’s doing, just weeks after kissing the badge on his jersey.

Football is a business, but there are ways of doing things and Donnarumma did it all wrong. He sent Raiola to do the dirty work, refusing to at least have the decency to confirm his decision face-to-face with Milan directors. He kept silent when fans made appeals, continued to pretend he cared about the Rossoneri colours more than anything else, then walked out just as they were on the way back to the top with strong investment.

He could’ve waited a year. It would’ve been smarter, quite frankly, as he’d have more regular playing time to consolidate his status and could make Milan a tidy profit from his sale. Manchester United, Real Madrid or Manchester City would’ve gladly paid €100m in a year, he’d still only be 19 and could decide then whether it was wise to abandon a revamped side.

As for those Milan fans who are saying it’s not an issue, because we’ve already got Alessandro Plizzari – no, we don’t. He saved two penalties in a shoot-out for the Under-20 World Cup semi-final, but he wasn’t first choice goalkeeper in that tournament and he was error-prone for the rest of the game. As many have said before, Donnarumma isn’t the most technically-gifted goalkeeper – he’s awful with his feet, for a start – but he does have this unshakeable confidence that is crucial for the role. It is also extremely rare in a teenager.

Milan will move on. The Diavolo will roar and shrug off the snakes. Donnarumma will no doubt have a great career in future, but he’ll never be seen the same way again – by anybody.

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Have your say...
Donnarumma, please reconsider your renewal contract with Ac Milan. I'm a Milanista at heart and a true fan. You will make the money you deserve if you stay and most importantly your love and support from the fans and the club will grow stronger as the years go on. Hope Agent Raiola didn't influence you in any kind of negative way. Sounds like he's focused on the money and not how you truly feel about this club, which is the upmost amount of love. We hope to see the Badge kissed again.
on the 20th June, 2017 at 6:21pm
@Beppe Rossi focus on your own team. Mirabelli and Fassone ARE two great directors and are doing great things so far. They WILL bring Milan back to the top.
on the 20th June, 2017 at 12:10pm
It is frustrating to see this delay take place donnarumma has made his decision why is milan waiting around for it to change. it not like he can a long term option anyway on 4-5 million euros a season at age 18. time to get a new goalkeeper and sell this kid to real need some closure to this saga which is getting duller my the day.
on the 20th June, 2017 at 7:30am
Benjamin, you forgetting that Juve already got a deal done with Kean?. Locked down till 2020, no release clause. Did yo also forget the stunt he pulled with Pogba last year?

on the 19th June, 2017 at 11:12pm
Clubs should be able to beat Raiola at this game even if he is a talented snake. I mean at the end of the day we are talking about organizations with millions going up against 1 man. How much power can a low life wield in this case? As a start, clubs should be putting Raiola on a black list and getting the word out to young players to stay away or else risk being frozen out. 1 man or snake, lol what a joke. Something really doesn't seem right here.
on the 19th June, 2017 at 10:44pm
Open your eyes - Juve this and Juve that. It's rather sad that you cry Juve because your clubs have gone into the toilet. Cry loser, that's all you humps are good for.
on the 19th June, 2017 at 8:35pm
Only Milanisti can't see that their team is lead by clueless foreigners, and two awful directors in Fassone, and Mirabelli. Milan maybe purchasing players to make headlines, but that's to overshadow their awful project, and FFP issues. Once you couldn't seal a deal for a new stadia, it was over. It's going to take years for Milan to recover.
on the 19th June, 2017 at 8:32pm
Wake up and smell the coffee. Juve are behind this along with Raiola's plan for a Pogba repeat. That's why Raiola has convinced him not to renew rather than advise him to keep his head down and improve.

Juve are behind this just like they are behind Keita. Disgusting club tapping up players then Marotta has the audacity to talk about getting rid of agents.

How about an article on Juve re hiring their expert doping doctor? Italian reffs cant win the CL for them so lets dope again.
on the 19th June, 2017 at 5:13pm
Raiola has witnessed the backlash which he and the snake obviously didn't see coming. Mino thought F&M would panick and sell him to Madrid to recoup some money gaining Mino a payout. But, F&M have instead stood firm and reiterated gigio will not be sold, damaging Raiola's potential money maker. As why would a huge club take a 19 year old keeper who has just spent a year in the stands. He's now begging F&M to fix things. I hope gigio signs a much lesser deal now and we sell to the highest bidder.
on the 19th June, 2017 at 3:42pm
It is not a bad thing though, Milan's pride is a little hurt but they can replace Donnarumma (and he knows it) and if he stayed until 23 years old it would have been harder for Milan... and that said, they could come to a resolution now it's out in the open... As for Mino, his statement yesterday was rash and he has damaged his reputation because clubs will want to avoid dealing with that rhetoric, even if there is truth in it.
on the 19th June, 2017 at 1:38pm
Sounds plausible Maldini's Heir!

Fassone has been behind the scenes at Juve (always efficient), Napoli (always having eyes looking over his shoulder) and Inter (nearly always a crazy mess!) and he draws from his experience and tries to write a new chapter...

But it is naive of the new owners if that was the case, agents are a part of professional football, be they family or firm, Mino will get paid, new contract or not, he does a job for his clients and they trust him...

on the 19th June, 2017 at 1:26pm
This is the complete opposite way to how Raiola used to deal with Galliani. He used to be able to string things along, wait until Galliani got desperate on Transfer Farcical Day and then take advantage. Why wasn't this working? It's almost as if Milan was under new management. He takes this strange new approach as a threat. He doesn't like being given a black and white choice because where's the fudge? Look at him. He loves fudge. And so we have a breakdown in communications. What do you reckon?
on the 19th June, 2017 at 10:28am
It strikes me that unlike Galliani these guys don't mess about. They want to get stuff done asap. Act III. The breakdown. As per the new approach the don't mess about when it comes to Donnarumma. They want him to renew, now, so that the squad is ready for pre-season. If he doesn't renew they need time to find someone else. So, no messing, they offer Donnarumma 5m a year for a straightforward sign here. There's to be no negotiation because what's to negotiate? Do you want 5m pa to play for Milan?
on the 19th June, 2017 at 10:23am
Act II: Mirabelli and Fassone come in with the mission to return Milan back to the top. And they waste no time. They're not going to hang around and pick up last minute deals on Transfer Farcical Day ala Galliani. No, they mean business. They want the squad ready by 3 July. Pre-season. Not next season. They waste no time snapping up 4 players. Silva's agent praises the professionalism of Milan's new directors. "Credit for these negotiations must be shared between Fassone and Mirabelli".
on the 19th June, 2017 at 10:19am
Some much speculation and here's more. Let's take this to the next level. What do we know? Let's go back to the beginning. Raiola had a very "good" relationship with Galliani and Galliani had a very "bad" relationship with spending money. The Chinese come in and buy the club and what happens? They get hold of the books...Can you imagine what was in those books? All of the deals...While they're doing their due diligence Raiola is busy slagging them off. The scene is set.....
on the 19th June, 2017 at 10:09am
lets face it at some point it is going to be seen as a group of fans picking on a teenager. It is not morally okay but donnarumma did choose a profession where abuse from the fans and media is common place. It doesn't help that raiola has done extremely little to protect his client image the nonsense he has come out with is ridiculous plus some of his family comments have been inflammatory to say the least. Donnarumma needs to come out and explain his actions.
on the 19th June, 2017 at 7:56am
seriously interello how can you now bring up his age when all along you have been acting like he is an adult talking about his wanting to win trophies. Any abuse he is getting no matter ho vile n indecent he brought on himself. I am not a Milan fan but I admire decency and this guy has shown no class or decency. He is 18 and should not be behaving this way.
on the 18th June, 2017 at 11:28pm
He's 18 years old and he is being abused by Milan supporters with horrid chants and other things... people talk about loyalty but don't have much if any decency.

Dennis - I was making the point, when a goalkeeper position at Real or Juventus, Man Utd or Barcna or Munich becomes available and you have an opportunity, it can be once in a lifetime because their custodians tend to settle in and stay (like Buffon, Neuer, Casillas in the past and De Gea would only move to Real)...
on the 18th June, 2017 at 8:16pm
Raiola and Dollarumma are the devils to ruin the Lega, the country (if the latter left Serie A), and the sport. I am interista.
on the 18th June, 2017 at 10:04am
Well said
And I might add he may never become a Buffon because he could be an important ingredient : humility. All the great ones at one point in their careers become humble for the gift they have. Let's hope he doesn't turn out to be another Balotelli, a wasted talent.
on the 18th June, 2017 at 9:50am
Buffon, Keylor Navas, Manuel Neuer and Courtois are just average goalkeepers waiting to be replace by the best in the world Donnaruma. Milan & Inter might be 2nd tier on the football field but are still top tier as far as history and the city/money is concerned or how can you explain players leaving Villareal, Atalanta, Monaco, Wolfsburg, Porto, Sevilla etc to join them. The amt of players that move for money etc compared to those that move for trophies is huge. Keep kidding yourselves.
on the 18th June, 2017 at 9:19am
Some of you make good points, the Milan management has a lot to answer for (not offering a pre-contract sooner, with release clauses) and Donnarumma is taking a big risk too (especially since Milan are waking up from their sleep) but in his defence the availability of No.1 spot at Champions League clubs like Juventus, Real Madrid, Bayern and Chelsea don't come often... take it while you can.

I would preferred to see Donna with Milan but Milan (and Inter) are in the second tier for now.
on the 18th June, 2017 at 7:50am
2. And saying he's looking for guarantees is just as puzzling, Raiola said earlier he would stay if the new ownership showed the right intentions and so far no other team has been more impressive as far as transfers go, plus why is he so impatient, the clause could've been delayed for 3 years, where he can request a transfer if they don't qualify or even win the league, it would've made a huge difference and he'd still be 21.
it's just all too fishy, he doesn't deserve any respect.
on the 18th June, 2017 at 3:47am
1. Ok players moved on before but this one is hard to swallow. Turning down a huge contract (by any standard for an 18YO) from the club that u support, just as things started to look better, and forcing a move this way and with this agent is just unforgivable, he could've signed a contract with a 50m clause, gave them some time to find a replacement and some cash from a potential sale, helped them qualify to CL, and of course maybe decided to stay next year if the team became competitive again.
on the 18th June, 2017 at 3:35am
hopefully milan will get perin and than we can forgot about donnarumma.
on the 17th June, 2017 at 9:58pm
I'm a Juve fan, don't get me wrong, but as much as I want Gigio to come fill Buffon's shoes, he just pulled a nasty move. I have respect for him, always will, but at least extend your contract for another year or two. These days contracts mean nothing so why are people getting mad? Even if he did sign, he would've probably signed to ease up the fans, but he would probably still go. At least he didn't do what Pirlo did. Pirlo always wanted to move from Milan. Milan fans just need to calm down.
on the 17th June, 2017 at 7:25pm
Susy, if Milan doesn't have Plizzari.....then who does??
on the 17th June, 2017 at 5:58pm
@Interello, I really can't understand someone could reach so low like your arguments. It will be understandable if Gigio is 22,23 or more. Look at De Sciglio, he's 23, raised from Milan academy, don't want to extend his contract, and no controversy. He can go peacefully, he gave his all for Milan. But Gigio? 18 yo, just one a half year on senior squad, trusted deep-heartly and given his status (yes he deserve it, but without trust from the club, he won't have much chance). Lack of gratitude.
on the 17th June, 2017 at 4:38pm
He's 18 years old. I would love to see if any of you on here at 18 years old wouldn't leave an uncertain job and jump into another for 5mil+ a year. The kids being taught the business of football through the agent that has single handedly ruined football this is no suprise. All his players do the same thing.
I am amazed with some of the comments and insults towards this kid. Maldini heir hasn't changed with his 'expert' statements and the biggest clown of all Viktor is still on here!?!
on the 17th June, 2017 at 1:29pm
The argument about trophies I understand but it really shouldn't come into this. Gigio is 18 and could have stayed here for another 3 years, been loved and refined his skills to become a truly world class keeper. If we had made no progress in that time he could've left for trophies as an elite keeper, had a very long career still ahead of him and still be loved by the rossoneri. Instead he's thrown it all in the bin to try and fast track glory.
on the 17th June, 2017 at 1:16pm

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