Massimiliano Mirabelli said Gianluigi Donnarumma must “beg” if he wants to leave AC Milan as the sporting director appeared to take aim at showman agent Mino Raiola, who he claims is trying to “damage” the club.
Donnarumma was targeted by Milan fans at San Siro on Wednesday amid reports the 18-year-old’s agent Raiola may seek to have the goalkeeper’s latest contract extension cancelled.
Milan ultras also brandished a banner which read “Our patience is finished” as the Italian side defeated Verona 3-0 in the Coppa Italia midweek, and the Italy international was visibly shaken by the treatment, consoled by captain Leonardo Bonucci prior to kick-off.
Mirabelli, however, remains confident of retaining Donnarumma – who signed a new contract in July to keep him at Milan through to 2021 having been reluctant to do so following a drawn-out saga, while the 48-year-old seemingly blamed Raiola for the latest development.
“Our position is clear: we do not need to sell anyone,” Mirabelli told reporters. “If a player did want to leave, he would have to tell us first, then obviously a club would need to meet our demands. We will not be grabbed by the throat by anyone.
“Gigio is an exceptional lad, I spoke to him a few minutes ago and he never said he wanted to leave. Perhaps there is a gentleman who wants to organise something, but we will look out for Milan’s interests in every arena.
“We understand the fans are upset, but they ought to jeer the opposition and not our own players. It’s not all Gigio’s fault and we must support him, because he is part of the club’s heritage.
“We must protect him, as we know where the rot is coming from. We hope to resolve this situation soon.”
Full-time! We are through to the #TIMCup quarterfinals! Ready for another #DerbyMilano!
3-0 e siamo ai quarti! Ci attende il derby con l’@Inter!#MilanVerona 3-0 #TIMCuppic.twitter.com/pv3Kowml27
— AC Milan (@acmilan) December 13, 2017
Mirabelli added: “I have no meeting planned with Raiola. The lad has a contract to 2021, so I have nothing to say to Raiola. We are closer than ever to Gigio, because we have no intention of selling him.
“If he wants to leave, he has to beg us, but I spoke to him and he never asked that. He loves Milan. We will protect Gigio and Milan from some gentleman who is trying to damage our club.
“One day, Gigio will realise where the good and the bad really is. There is some gentleman who is becoming more of a showman than anything else. We can laugh it off, but won’t let him get away with it.”