Tuesday November 12 2019
Mirabelli: 'Gattuso told who to pick'

Massimiliano Mirabelli claims Gennaro Gattuso was "told who to pick" by the Milan hierarchy, who spent big knowing the FFP punishment would come.

In an interview with TeleLombardia, the former sporting director is defending his decision to appoint Gattuso as the head coach for the Rossoneri, revealing that the owners wanted PSG coach Thomas Tuchel.

“I had no direct relationship with the owners,” he admitted to TeleLombardia. “The first time was in Greece, when we had to decide on Gattuso. The question arose whether to change the coach or not. The club told me that I could pick Tuchel, but I said I already had Gattuso in mind.

“I spent days and days to convince them that it was the right choice. In the end they told me I could do what I wanted, but then I would have to take on all the responsibility and if it didn’t go well, I would have to leave.”

In the end he faced the sack, while Gattuso terminated his contract by mutual consent after missing out on the Champions League by one point.

Milan opened the chequebook and decided to splash the cash on new players during Gattuso’s spell, but Mirabelli reveals they knew full well strong Financial Fair Play punishment was imminent.

“We knew that it was an open year, and that’s why we spent so much money. We knew that then this situation with the UEFA would arrive,” he added.

“It may be a question of management, because when we were there, we were easily in the Europa League and we played in a Coppa Italia final. We didn’t reach the Champions League because of the matches against Benevento and Verona.

“I’m sorry that Rino didn’t become an important asset to Milan. And if a few of the leaders at Milan told him he was wrong and told him which players to pick, do I have to take the blame for that too?” asked the former sporting director.

He also points at the constant negotiation with Mino Raiola, who heavily influenced Gianluigi Donnarumma to ask for a lucrative new deal to stay put at San Siro, poking his finger at the current directors of the club.

“Donnarumma is one of the best goalkeepers, in my opinion,” said Mirabelli. “If you want to keep him, I don’t see any difficulties in signing him for another three years. If I succeeded, why can’t the champions that are at Milan now?

“What’s the problem? Raiola, before I arrived, took over €100m from Milan. I saw the documents.”

Milan are 14th in Serie A this season and will play Napoli after the international break, a match where both teams are desperate of claiming the three points.

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