AC Milan have confirmed that Gianluigi Donnarumma, widely rated as the world’s best young goalkeeper, will not be signing a new deal with the Rossoneri.
Donnarumma was propelled into Milan’s senior lineup at the age of 16 back in 2015 and has been the club’s first-choice keeper since.
Now 18, he is already a senior Italian international and will represent the Azzurini at this summer’s European Under-21 Championships.
Milan had hoped to keep Donnarumma at the club for the next 20 years, but have failed to persuade the player and his agent, Mino Raiola, that San Siro is the best place for the stopper to continue his development.
Three contract offers have been rejected by Donnarumma’s camp and Raiola had been seeking guarantees that should Vincenzo Montella’s side – undergoing a serious rebuild this summer with the signings of Franck Kessie, Ricardo Rodriguez, Andre Silva and others – fail to reach the Champions League next season, he can depart for a low release clause.
But after talks with Raiola failed to come close to an agreement on Thursday- after a final offer worth €4.5million per year, plus bonuses – Raiola has informed the club that Donnarumma will not be signing a new contract at the club – despite the player recently stating his desire to continue with the seven-time European champions.
“Raiola informed us that Donnarumma has made a definitive decision not to renew the contract with Milan,” said CEO Marco Fassone at a hastily-arranged press conference.
“I want to remind you all that 10 days ago (director Massimiliano) Mirabelli made a significant contract proposal to the player, one even bigger than the reports that appeared in the various papers.
“The player evaluated it and made some evaluations that were not just economic, but he told us that he does not wish to renew the contract and his time with Milan will therefore conclude by June 30, 2018.
“We were taken by surprise, as we had hoped Donnarumma would be the goalkeeper taking Milan into the future, that we could build the team around.
“Naturally, the decision leaves a bitter taste in the mouth, but now we have to go forward.”
Milan must now decide whether to keep the keeper and lose him for nothing next summer, or cash in now for a fee that will be far below his value in the current market.
Milan had told prospective bidders earlier in the summer that not even €100million would tempt them to cash in.
Now they face losing a player Raiola has called “the Maradona of goalkeepers” for less than half that amount.
Real Madrid have already held talks with Raiola, while Paris Saint-Germain also retain an interest.
If Milan hold out, they risk Donnarumma walking out and joining Juventus in 12 months time in a free transfer as replacement for long-time No.1 Gianluigi Buffon.
By Alex Richards for Mirror