Fassone: ‘If Donnarumma reconsiders…’

by | Jun 18, 2017 23:50

Milan CEO Marco Fassone insists they would “welcome Gianluigi Donnarumma back with open arms” and the goalkeeper was “never threatened.”

The total breakdown in the relationship between Donnarumma and club occurred on Thursday evening, when agent Mino Raiola informed them there would be no contract extension.

Today Raiola gave his version of events, including threats, mobbing and the club forcing them into this decision.

Milan CEO Marco Fassone insists they would “welcome Gianluigi Donnarumma back with open arms” and the goalkeeper was “never threatened.”

The total breakdown in the relationship between Donnarumma and club occurred on Thursday evening, when agent Mino Raiola informed them there would be no contract extension.

Today Raiola gave his version of events, including threats, mobbing and the club forcing them into this decision.

“We are pained at these extremes that football seems to generate,” Fassone told the Corriere della Sera newspaper.

“We are also disappointed if his decision, or that of his agent, provoked such reactions. As a club, I really don’t know what more we could’ve done to give Gigio and his family the desire and pleasure to remain. We tried to transmit that to him every time we spoke.

“If he were to reconsider, not only would he be welcomed back with open arms by Milan the club, but in the end I think also by the Milan fans. Moods can change so quickly.”

Raiola also claims the Rossoneri directors threatened to leave Donnarumma in the stands for a year if he didn’t sign a new deal.

“There were no threats. Our position is clear: Donnarumma is not for sale, and Vincenzo Montella will decide on a weekly basis. As far as I am concerned, he can play every game. However, we cannot run any risks, so we need to seek out another goalkeeper.

“We can’t rely on someone who is coming to the end of his contract, who is perhaps thinking of Real Madrid, especially in such a delicate role as goalkeeper. I have to be sure we’ve got a focused shot-stopper who is in ideal physical and psychological condition.

“For example, if San Siro were to protest during a game, that could take something away from his concentration. From what Raiola says, the lad seems very restless.”

This interview, and Raiola’s, were given before this evening’s events, when Italy’s game with Denmark in the European Under-21 Championship was interrupted by Milan fans throwing fake dollar bills at the goalkeeper.

“Nobody ever doubted he had the right to make this decision. It’s perfectly within the rules. But it’s one thing to be legitimate, another to work within the ethics of business.

“The bitterness here has to do with the unpleasant way the situation was handled. It could’ve been done without damaging the club, but by leaving like this, they have cost Milan €100m.

“If Donnarumma is worth this much at the age of 18, it’s also because the club invested in him, had courage to launch him into the first team.

“All he had to do was say he didn’t want to remain and we’d have renewed with a reasonable release clause. Then if the most important club in the world had turned up, even this summer, they could pay Milan that sum.

“This way what Real Madrid doesn’t pay me will end up in the pockets of his agent. I at least would’ve reinvested that sum into Italian football.

“Every time we spoke, face to face or on the phone, Gigio assured us he wanted to stay. It was that way until two days before the last meeting with Raiola.

“The agent, on the other hand, always said he was not prepared to negotiate on our timescale. So there were two different versions.”

Raiola claimed Milan were rushing the situation too much, so could the Rossoneri not have waited a little longer?

“No, because Gigio’s contract is running down and I needed time to act on the market. Pre-season training starts on July 3, so two weeks is the absolute minimum.

“If he’d told me in mid-August that he didn’t want to renew, what would I have done? It’s part of the normal planning of a good director. Besides, they had two months to think about it.”

Raiola repeatedly stated he has no problem with Fassone, but accused director of sport Massimiliano Mirabelli of “mobbing” Donnarumma.

“There is no Mirabelli or Fassone, just a single club, Milan. Every move, every proposal, every phone call was agreed. Nobody should try to cause friction between us.”

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