Paolo Maldini says Gennaro Gattuso is a far more balanced character than his intense touchline demeanour suggests and remains the right man for AC Milan.
Gattuso, a famously fiery figure during his playing days, is nearing the one-year anniversary of his appointment as Vincenzo Montella’s successor at San Siro.
The ex-Italy midfielder has yet to completely convince in that time and has seen his position become a source of speculation, with Antonio Conte consistently linked to the role.
But Maldini, who recently returned to Milan as a director, is firmly in his former team-mate’s corner.
“Rino is much calmer than what he lets others see from the outside,” the Rossoneri great said at the Festival dello Sport event in Trento.
“During the game he resembles himself as a player, but during the week, also because he is busy with training, he is without doubt a very balanced person.
“Rino has a great sense of belonging, which is what [sporting director] Leonardo and I want to transfer to Milan.
“He has all our confidence. He knows how to listen, he was brave to come to Milan, he has knowledge, knows how to manage players and can mediate well with the club.”
Milan, winners in each of their last three competitive matches, return to Serie A action next Sunday in a derby date with city rivals Inter.
The club currently sits 10th in the league with three wins and three draws from the first seven matches of the Serie A season.