Monday October 19 2020
Pioli: 'Milan must be ambitious'

Stefano Pioli has revealed Milan are working to renew with Gigio Donnarumma, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Hakan Calhanoglu and insists the Diavolo aim to win the Europa League.

The fourth win in the League has put Milan at the top of Serie A, two points clear of Sassuolo at second, but Pioli claims the Rossoneri are only focused on the next game in hand.

“We are satisfied with the start of our championship, but we will face many difficulties and tough matches,” Pioli told Radio Anch’io.

“We are only thinking about the next match, we are ambitious and focused on the Europa League.”

Pioli seemed set to be replaced by Ralf Rangnick, but the former Fiorentina coach has turned things around at Milanello.

“We needed to get to know each other and we took advantage of the unfortunate break in March. We always worked at our best; we want to do well.

“I think it started in January 2020, with an important market and the building of a team that are closer to our ideas.

“The arrival of Zlatan [Ibrahimovic], [Simon] Kjaer and the others had increased our self-esteem. We are a united group, we know the difficult moments will arrive, but we only want to think about the next match.”

And the coach praised Ibrahimovic’s importance, after the Swede returned with another brace against Inter in the Milan derby.

“Having a player like him is very important, we are trying to take as much as we can from each player.”

Hakan Calhanoglu, Gianluigi Donnarumma and Ibrahimovic have deals expiring in June 2021 and Pioli has said the Diavolo are working to renew with the key trident.

“I think [director Paolo] Maldini, [CEO Ivan] Gazidis and [sporting director Frederic] Massara are working to settle the situation.

“Donnarumma, Calhanoglu and Zlatan are very important, the club knows this and has meetings planned to reach an agreement.”

Milan return to Europe on Thursday, starting with an away match against Celtic.

“We are Milan, and we must be ambitious. We can’t choose between the League and Europe. We will go ahead thinking about one match at a time.

“We want to do well in Europe, we are in the one that matters the least, but we will try to win the Cup. Our group is balances, we only think of Celtic.”