Like it or not, Raiola is the winner of the Donnarumma deal

by | Jun 12, 2021 17:13

With Gigio Donnarumma expected to undergo his medical with PSG, Louis Miller suggests Mino Raiola is the winner in the goalkeeper’s move to France.

“I can’t hide my sorrow,” said Milan legendary coach Arrigo Sacchi in an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport a few days ago.

“If he [Donnarumma] was happy with Milan, the club that made him grow and valued him, then he had to stay.

“In life, it is important to show gratitude towards those who gave you an important chance and this was an opportunity to demonstrate it. Also, the club had offered him a rich contract. So, I ask myself: why is he leaving? Why force the situation?”

The thought of not seeing Donnarumma in a Milan shirt next season comes as a disappointment for many Rossoneri fans. Like Sacchi, many will be left wondering if there is any loyalty left in the game, but the reality is that one-club players are sadly a thing of the past.

Donnarumma has been a regular starter since he made his debut, aged just 16, and has gone on to make over 250 appearances since. Last season’s impressive performances helped Milan finish second in the table, making a return to the Champions League for the first time since 2013-14. The youngster also earned the league’s Best Goalkeeper award for his efforts.

Super Gigio had the chance to become a legend at the club to rival the likes of Franco Baresi and Paulo Maldini but instead, he will leave the club under a cloud of smoke after failing to reach an agreement on a contract extension. PSG are ready to sign him and the 22-year-old is expected to undergo his medicals with the Serie A giants while on international duty with Italy at Euro 2020.

Donnarumma to have PSG medical

Reports suggest the Paris club matched Raiola’s economic demand of a €12m-a-year contract for his client. Something Milan were not willing to do. The Rossoneri had offered Gigio a €2m pay rise, going from a €6m-a-year deal, to a contract worth €8m per season. PSG will double his wages and Raiola could reportedly earn a €20m commission.

Many will blame the goalkeeper for seeking riches over loyalty, while this is not the first time Raiola has managed to wangle himself the best possible deal for his client. The Italian club are also not faultless in how they ended up in this situation.

Back in 2017, Donnarumma was expected to leave on a free transfer after rejecting the club’s proposal for an extension, only to sign a month later in a controversial manner. Many believed Raiola had Milan over a barrel, ironically because it was unimaginable to see a player who was only 18 at the time, leave on a free.

The Italian eventually signed a €6m-year contract, and Milan even signed his older brother, Antonio, as a third-choice keeper earning €1m-a-year.

Many at the time doubted the economic sense of paying a teenager such a large amount when knowing the player and his agent would ask for a pay rise in three years. Something that has come back to haunt Milan now, with the Rossoneri unable to match Raiola’s high demands, especially in this time of austerity due to the pandemic.

Also, it is still not entirely clear if the move to PSG makes sense for Donnarumma. Former Real Madrid goalkeeper and multiple Champions League winner Kaylor Navas will stay in Paris after extending his contract in April. Despite being 35 years of age, the Costa Rican has proven he can still perform at the highest level.

Donnarumma might only be used in league or cup games or even move back to Serie A on loan, which, despite reports in Italy, sounds like a frankly unlikely option. In any case, he won’t be a regular starter in Paris, at least at the beginning of his experience in France. One might question the logic of leaving Milan, a steadily improving team and one where the player was settled and seen as a leader.

Last but not least, many Milan fans are disappointed to see the 22 years old leaving the club he’s always said he is supporting. Only three years ago, he left the Allianz Stadium fuming and kissing the club’s badge after Juventus were awarded a controversial last-gasp penalty kick against the Rossoneri.

Former captain turned sporting director, Paolo Maldini was a little more diplomatic than Sacchi when he broke the news Donnarumma would leave.

Maignan has medical at Milan, who is the new signing?

“He was a protagonist, a leader and often a captain,” said Maldini. “A professional must also be ready to change his shirt. It is increasingly difficult to start a career in one place and finish it there,” he said.

“We must thank those who gave so much for Milan and Gigio did it, without ever disrespecting the club. Our paths divide here, and I can only wish him the best.”

Milan have already signed a replacement for the Italian: Lille keeper Mike Maignan who the club has already announced after an outstanding title-winning season in Ligue 1.

Despite a €13m transfer fee, his wages will allow Milan to save more than €35m. As strange as it could sound, it was cheaper for the Rossoneri to sign a new player than to extend the contract of one they already had.

The agent will be able to get the commission he wanted, while PSG will double his client’s salary. Potentially, Donnarumma may not be a regular starter in his first season in Paris, or even play only league games, leaving the Champions League stage to Navas.

The sporting part will depend on Mauricio Pochettino and how Donnarumma will manage to impress him with his daily work on the pitch. As it stands, considering the financial part of the deal, there is only one real winner and it’s once again the good old Mino.

 

 

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