Gennaro Gattuso begged Milan fans to go easy on Gianluigi Donnarumma after vicious insults over his contract situation. “He doesn’t deserve this.”
The Rossoneri notched up a second consecutive victory, sweeping Verona aside 3-0 in the Coppa Italia to set up a quarter-final meeting with Inter on December 27.
The 4-3-3 formation is working well with goals for Suso, Alessio Romagnoli and Patrick Cutrone.
“Now we must concentrate on the important games we’ve got now, when the derby arrives, we’ll prepare for that. Right now we’ve got to stay on this path and recover our strength,” the Coach told Rai Sport.
“At times we pushed many players into the box, but we have to improve. The performances are better, but not exceptional.
“Inter are a strong opponent, they’re fighting for the Scudetto and we’ll need a perfect performance. We hope to reach this game in the right shape.
“As of today, fourth place is a mirage, but we have to take it one game at a time and see where we end up.”
Before kick-off, there was a banner from the ultras urging Donnarumma to leave because “our patience is finished” and he was insulted throughout the match.
Gigio was in tears in the locker room and consoled by captain Leonardo Bonucci.
“He’s an 18-year-old kid, of course he was shaken. I can only thank him for what he’s doing. For his age, he’s the best goalkeeper in the world right now. You can tell from his face he’s not happy, but I have known a great athlete and great kid. He will have my protection, for all the protection I can give.
“If the club says it doesn’t need to sell anyone, nor wants to, then why should we even talk about this? I respect the fans, but he sulked at me for four days because I left him at home for the first time in seven months. He never skipped a training session, let alone a game.
“People need to understand whether Gigio really does want to go or if he wants to stay. I can say I’m working with a great athlete and professional.
“I am the Coach of Milan, so I can talk about the lad, the athlete, but nothing else. Gigio has not told me personally that he wants to leave. If he did, that would be different.”
There is reportedly a letter sent to lawyers asking to annul Donnarumma’s contract renewal, signed over the summer, because he only put pen to paper under “psychological pressure” from the club.
“I’m not talking about Mino Raiola, because I speak to Gigio every day. I don’t know if Mino is trying to push players away from the club either.
“Until two days ago, I didn’t know about any letter, as I have to focus on getting results and ensuring the players are in a condition to give their best.
“At this moment, Gigio is giving me a great deal, he trains with determination and after that we’ll see in what direction this situation will go.
“I feel terrible about this, as people are painting a kid as if he’s a monster and he doesn’t deserve it. Fortunately, there were only 9,000 people in the stadium tonight, imagine how it’d feel if there were 50,000 insulting him.”