Wednesday December 9 2020
Is Calhanoglu being disrespectful to Milan?

The Turkish playmaker’s 2020 has been nothing short of impressive, but, with his contract set to expire in 2021, the Rossoneri have a difficult decision to make, writes Matthew Santangelo.

Since the turn of the calendar year, Milan has been one of Europe’s most surprising packages, rejuvenated and ready to be a force once again.

Chief amongst those who have lent a hand in this recent Rossoneri revival is Zlatan Ibrahimović.

Serving as both the catalyst and undisputed star Stefano Pioli’s anemic attack had been lacking, the Swedish international’s potent finishing and gaudy production continues to inspirethose around him and remains at the forefront of the side’s title push.

Yet, while all eyes remain fixated on the soon-to-be 40-years-old, his unerring confidence and ambitions of bringing Milan back to the top, there have been many beneficiaries of the Swede’s guidance and aura, namely Hakan Çalhanoğlu.

The Turkish international, who arrived from Bayer Leverkusen in 2017 with plenty of buzz surrounding his free-kick stroke and creativity in the final third, has certainly experienced his share of ups and downs.

Since pulling on the red and black shirt, the ex-Hamburg midfielder has often lacked consistency under several managers and the cutting edge required to unlock Milan’s attack in vital areas. As a result, calls were ringing all over for Çalhanoğlu’s exit this time last year as the passionate fanbase clamored for a new number 10.

Unlike most, 2020 has served the 26-year old extremely well as he’s managed to find balance off the field in his personal life and put his best foot forward on it.

Solidifying himself as one of the first names on the team sheet for Pioli, 2020 has seen Çalhanoğlu score 14 goals and assist a further 12 in 37 appearances across all competitions to have many reconsidering their stance on him.

His end-product and, more importantly, confidence appears sharper now than ever before. But, with his contract expiring in 2021, tough decisions must be made surrounding his future.

Çalhanoğlu, as well as perennial superstar goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, could walk for free next summer, so resolving their respective futures remains of paramount importance at this time.

According to multiple reports out of Italy, the will of the Turk is to remain, though at the moment, there seems to be some distance between to the two sides in defining the terms.

A contract renewal seems far from a formality especially with free transfer specialists Juventus and Manchester United reportedly monitoring the situation. But, with Milan sticking by their playmaker through his inconsistencies, is he being disrespectful by playing hard ball at his current heights?

At the ripe age of 26, Çalhanoğlu is approaching that peak stage of his career where many in his position would fetch the bag and seek pastures anew to lift trophies. He is also afforded the right to test the waters and capitalize on the fruits of his labor in the form of a pay day.

If you are Paolo Maldini and Frederic Massara, you can call agent Gordon Stipic’s bluff and hope the demands soften before reaching an agreement somewhere in the middle. However, time is of the essence. Milan run the risk of having a player walk for free in his prime, an outcome that would go against the very model Ivan Gazidis and management has strived to implement with their transfer policy; that is purchase young, sell high for future profits.

It would not be all doom and gloom for Milan if he did walk though. Maldini has taken  calculated risks on the market that have reaped tremendous rewards, so finding a potential Çalhanoğlu replacement would not be an impossible task. However, in Çalhanoğlu, there is plenty of added value in an individual who has stuck it out, found form and understands what it takes to last in a pressurized environment. That does not always come easy with new signings of the younger mould.

Of the 11 players haul brought in under Massimiliano Mirabelli and Marco Fassone in 2017, only five remain under club control, and two are starters: Franck Kessie and Çalhanoğlu.

Social media conspiracy theories and false news aside, there is still a possibility of reaching a resolution that would keep the attacking midfielder at the San Siro for the foreseeable future.

Amidst all of these discussions, Çalhanoğlu remains focused on helping Milan achieve their goals. Blocking out the noise, his free-kick conversion to jumpstart their comeback 4-2 victory over Celtic last night to progress in the UEFA Europa League proves he has sharpened his game and really enjoying his football.

Milan have their number in mind as far as wages are concerned, and must also consider the renewals of Donnarumma and Alessio Romagnoli priority at this time. But, in football and in life, nothing is certain. Milan must be prepared for any outcome to ensure this project stays on track - with or without their number 10.



Have your say...
come to Inter we could use you for Gagliardini( how ever his dumb name is spelt)
on the 11th December, 2020 at 3:13pm
Thank God for you. 100% agree.
on the 11th December, 2020 at 6:55am
@Maldini's Heir
"If you support a football team then you support the players because the two are one and the same. [...] So if you don’t like the players we don’t like the team."

How does this make any sense? I support Milan "the club" even if I hate some of the players. I don't support the players themselves; if they leave I'll cease to support them (usually), and if they join then I expect a certain level of skill and commitment. I don't know anyone else (in real life) who isn't the same way.
on the 10th December, 2020 at 11:10am
Everyone is entitled to an opinion, i respect your opinion. For me the guy is in no position to make demands. We would be in exactly the same postion if he wasn't there and the last 3 years could have been more productive instead of waiting him to deliver, it's taken him 3 years to get to here where the very people mocking after his first year are on here defending him like he has been Milans Maradonna or something. We have still won nothing.
on the 9th December, 2020 at 10:51pm
@Maldini heir
No he isn't good enough for any top flight team esp not a team that is actually trying to win something.
The guy can leave. The quicker the better.
on the 9th December, 2020 at 8:15pm
Wow damn Anon..

Come on, while it's obvious that Hakan ain't Pirlo (to be fair it's gonna be hard to be compared to one of the most gifted player of his era), but your comment is way too harsh there..
on the 9th December, 2020 at 10:27am
PS If you support a football team then you support the players because the two are one and the same. A football team is not some brand name, and its history is irrelevant. The reason we watch a team play is to watch the players on that team. So if you don’t like the players we don’t like the team. This shallowness is the heart of the problems with modern football. Players come and go and there’s no identity. This is what leads to mercenary behaviour.
on the 9th December, 2020 at 7:39am
@ Anon Do you not think he’s good enough to be in a top of the table side? Because he is in the top of the table side, but of course being top of the table doesn’t actually make you top of the table in this nonsense world where everyone wants to play fantasy football. The reason I think successive managers (who know more than you or I) have stuck with him is probably his ridiculous work rate which is one of the reasons we’re top.
on the 9th December, 2020 at 7:36am
@maldini Heir
I argee with you. Thankfully I have wanted him out the day he arrived and I don't want him to show loyalty or anything, I just want him to leave he is the most overrated player we have, he came as if he was to be our answer to Pirlo; the man with magical free kicks and god only knows what else was being claimed yet evne in this time when some claim he is in the most dazzling of form I still see none of that promise. I see a turd in a shirt and shorts!
on the 8th December, 2020 at 12:19pm
PS another solid win and another goal saving tackle by Çalhanoğlu who worked hard coming back. His work rate has been excellent.
on the 8th December, 2020 at 3:20am
I do love how fans talk about “loyalty” but show no loyalty to the players. For years we’ve had numerous fans writing off Milan players after about 5 mins and calling for another 20 replacements each transfer window only to become frustrated with them. Çalhanoğlu was one such victim of the fans’ capriciousness. Fans wanted him out during his struggles so why would he show loyalty now? Those who support the farce of transfer markets cannot criticise players for looking after their own interests
on the 8th December, 2020 at 3:19am
I think he would do well at Atletico Madrid. There are not many available and affordable high quality creative midfield players today. I don't know why Manchester or Juventus would like to sign him other than the fact Calhanoglu has no transfer fee and if they can manage to sell him, they have 4 years to do so (@6M euros per year annual salary, he would cost 24m euros). Even if they sell him for 20M euros after 4 years, he costs nothing; an early sell will bring a lot of profits.
on the 7th December, 2020 at 6:52pm
No, Milan, please do not pay him what he is asking. Many fans do not want him, disrespect him anyway. Absolutamente, I do not want Hakan to spend another season in AC Milan either. However, I have been desperately longing to sign him to my Fantasy Premier League once he arrives.
on the 7th December, 2020 at 6:41pm
Get rid. We are discussing an average player as if he is some kind of mega star. Get rid of him. Put him on the transfer market see how much interest he attracts, I bet my house he will only get genuine interest from teams who struggle to get into European comps.
Never rated him one of the most pointless acquisitions I have seen.
on the 7th December, 2020 at 6:36pm
I can see the contrasting arguments but I go with my initial gut reaction - what a greedy so and so, particularly when you consider the current world situation and the fact that he was below average for 90% of his time at Milan so far. If he wants to go and rot in another team then let him, there are plenty that do and regret it later. No doubt he has the ability to continue to do well at Milan but his priorities (or his agents ?) is the payday rather than "the project".
on the 6th December, 2020 at 8:49am
The patience shown with Calhanoglu was unbelievable compared to say Locatelli and Cutrone. It seems that if a club pays money for a player they get more time to prove themselves, whereas a player who came free from the youth team and has loved Milan since the day they were born, must compete with 10 other players until they’re eventually forced out on a loan with a please buy them on your terms of course.
on the 6th December, 2020 at 12:02am
He’s behaving like any modern footballer does. It’s almost inevitable. This is why it’s so important to develop youth players. They’ll show more loyalty. Even Donnarumma has been convinced to stay despite having the devil himself whispering in his ear. To build long term success you need teams that play together for 5-6 years. That’s where the added value in youth players comes from. It’s not just about quality. It’s also about loyalty.
on the 5th December, 2020 at 11:57pm
@ITA - our squad has potential but at this point is just playing above expectations. Hoping we can extend winning run a bit longer but no Milan fan actually expects this team to challenge for any trophies for a while.
on the 5th December, 2020 at 9:50pm
Yes we are broke. As much as I hate to say, we need to follow infers footsteps. They’ve turned their finances around and are probably the best run club in Italy now. Problem we have is trying to find sponsors amid COVID. CL money desperately needed, won’t be used to strengthen we need it to pay for tonali and other loans. Hoping we can hold on for top 4. Not having ibra is going to make it incredibly hard.
on the 5th December, 2020 at 9:47pm
@ Vero Rossonaro

yes, finishing top 4 would be good for Milan given their average enough squad. but ongoing CL participation is not guaranteed at all.
As for a new stadium ... expect that in 2050 lol
on the 5th December, 2020 at 9:05pm
@Ita 1. Milan are broke but they're on the right track now. M&M (Maldini & Massara) are doing a hell of a job on the market. The club is in 1st, which I'm not sure will last, but they're on track for the ultimate goal: CL. Once that's reached then the fresh funds ought to be spent strengthening the squad to solidify it as a CL squad. After two or three years of consistent CL participation, plus a new stadium, we'll be able to make a big money signing or two and then challenge for trophies.
on the 5th December, 2020 at 2:48pm
Any major club will pay 5-6M euros easily without hurting their pockets. That is still like getting a player of his caliber for free. Look at Aaron Ramsey in Juventus! He was always injured in Arsenal and now he is in Juventus, yet he gets paid 400k pounds a week but hardly ever plays. Hakan is much better than an healthier Ramsey. But there has never been a healthy or consistent Ramsey as far as I can remember. Milan fans want someone better than Hakan. Better be willing to spend 30-40M.
on the 5th December, 2020 at 12:57pm
The Milan management didn't bother talking about an extension until the summer. Well, the roles are changed. Obviously, Milan is no good in investment decisions. Does Hakan deserve 4M euros in today's market environment. Absolutely! This is not just a game but also businesses. He is free to leave in the summer. From a business perspective, should he ask more? Certainly because he can. Letting him go for free is a huge loss from footballing and financial perspectives.
on the 5th December, 2020 at 12:49pm
All I heard from the fans up until January is dispraise of Hakan Calhanoglu. I don't think Hakan was terrible at a very mediocre Milan team that had no stability in management, constantly changed manager and formation. But, everyone expected of him to be the new Kaka or Ronaldinho while everyone else performed awfully bad week in and out. Even after he started playing so well with Rebic and Ibrahimovic, fans expected miracles of Hakan. If Hakan played well but didn't score, they all loathed him.
on the 5th December, 2020 at 12:44pm

Milan ARE broke lol. They spent big a few years ago, but did they even have money to do so? no, not really - hence the repossession and bail out. Who knows with Donna - I don't and neither do you. Bottom line is, Milan are swimming in debt, operating at huge losses, and CANNOT attract the best players.

u said recently Milan might be able to get Haaland for 70m!!! lol. 170m, maybe - and he ain't joining a spent force like Milan lol. NO top player in their prime will join them - trut me
on the 5th December, 2020 at 11:17am

No way of knowing about Donnarumma. 50/50. If you're so sure, then when is he signing?

Here's the losses accumulated in the last 10 years, according to what this site published months ago:

"Milan have been run into the ground over the last 10 years, moving from Silvio Berlusconi/Yonghong Li/ repossessed by Elliott hedge fund

Over 10 years, the Rossoneri ran at an astonishing loss of €914.5m

That’s almost double the next club down, Roma, who lost 527.2m, Inter 470m, Juve 281.5m"
on the 5th December, 2020 at 11:09am

They will not lose Donnarumma.. trut me.

And how are the "almost broke" ??
on the 5th December, 2020 at 7:50am
@Paolo and Ferban. Agreed. Definitely in Gigio's case. Not sure what happened there. We don't know what goes on behind the scenes. Maybe until January this year the kid wasn't interested in starting talks? Suddenly the team is playing well and now he wants to stay? In Calhanoglu's case, I can see why. It's telling that Milan hadn't even bothered talking renewal until July. That's because Calhanoglu had been trash until January. Suddenly he's good and Milan wants to talk. And now he wants 6m.
on the 5th December, 2020 at 12:23am
Calhanoglu is classic "Nocerino style" with Ibras possitive effect on him. W/o Ibra he will struggle so I suggest to not go beyond 4kk and if he wont accept give him those 6kk but sell next summer so we can make a nice cash on him and bring better and cheaper player to his place...
on the 4th December, 2020 at 11:26pm
Once players get down to their last year (or even before),the clubs need to be either extending with them or selling them.

Milan could now lose Hakan, and far more importantly, Donnarumma, for nothing in 7 months. That's basically 100m down the drain for Milan - and we know they're almost broke as it is without losing that sum of money on potential fees.
on the 4th December, 2020 at 11:05pm

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