Saturday October 26 2019
Maldini: 'Ibrahimovic might have fear'

Milan director Paolo Maldini believes Zlatan Ibrahimovic might be held back from returning to Italy by “fear,” while discussing the problem with a young squad.

The Rossoneri icon gave a series of interviews to Sky Sport Italia that are hitting headlines this weekend.

With the side struggling for goals, the possibility of LA Galaxy striker Ibrahimovic returning as a free agent has been floated, along with interest from Napoli and Bologna.

“Ibra would be a dream return for many reasons, but I think within his mind there is a little fear that he won’t be the dominant Ibra of old,” said former teammate Maldini.

“I remember when Carlo Ancelotti put me on the bench for a derby and that’s when I realised, I could not accept a season like that. I don’t know if Ibra could accept that either.

“Krzysztof Piatek is a good striker. He needs to think more about playing with the team, but his strength is scoring goals.”

Coach Marco Giampaolo was sacked after just seven games and Stefano Pioli brought in, but many have criticised the transfer strategy put into action by the club.

“We believe this Milan squad is better than last season. The idea was to improve on last term’s position, which was our best campaign in six years.

“The idea of bringing down the average age of the squad was a shared policy, but we also all agree that no team of young players has won Serie A or the Champions League. In order to win silverware, you need some experienced players.

“The important thing about the transfer campaign is that we didn’t sell our best players.”

Maldini resisted calls from previous administrations before returning to Milan, so why did he take the job this time?

“It was a decision dictated by the heart. I will certainly end my career here, as I have no intention of doing this kind of work elsewhere.

“There is great passion for these club colours and nobody can doubt that. My history is there to prove it.”

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