The former Rossoneri goalkeeper believes the teenage star has been wrongly advised amid reported interest from some of Europe’s biggest clubs
Former AC Milan goalkeeper Zeljko Kalac believes the chaotic situation surrounding Gianluigi Donnarumma’s future at the club has nothing to do with the teenage sensation, but his agent Mino Raiola.
Donnarumma’s time at Milan has descended into chaos after the 18-year-old announced his decision not to sign a renewal, with his contract due to expire in 2018.
There has been plenty of back-and-forth from Milan and outspoken agent Raiola as Donnarumma remains silent amid his commitments at the Under-21 European Championships, though the Italy international did break his silence in farcical circumstances on Sunday.
Kalac – who spent four years at the San Siro and was part of Milan’s Champions League-winning team in 2006-07 – feels Donnarumma has had his head turned by Raiola following reported interest from Juventus, Real Madrid and Manchester United.
“I don’t think it has much to do with the player to be fair,” Kalac told Omnisport. “A lot depends on agents these days. I think the agent will be calling the shots there, wherever he can make the bigger cut, that’s where the boy will be playing.
“I don’t think an 18-year-old boy will have a head on his shoulders that clearly to know which is the right decision to make. That kind of money at such a young age.
“I just think he needs to keep playing. It would be great if he stayed at Milan. It’s a great club. They look to be heading back in the right direction by spending money to strengthen side.”
Confusion reigned on Sunday as Donnarumma and Raiola lit up social media with tweets and Instagram posts.
It started when Donnarumma suggested he would give contract negotiations another chance in an Instagram post only for the teenager to claim his account was hacked before deleting the social media page.
Further chaos ensued as Raiola – who also represents Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba and Mario Balotelli – took to Twitter shortly after to say Donnarumma will indeed meet with Milan following the Euros.
“Sometimes this amount of trouble can really affect someone when they play as well. Supporters can be really fickle too,” Kalac added.
“I don’t know him that well to understand what is going through his head but obviously he’s had some big-money opportunities to move, so that’s why this has all started.
“If they would’ve left him alone, he would’ve re-signed for Milan and he would’ve signed a long-term contract for five years and that would’ve been it. I really believe it’s down to the agent. The agent is going to push him to where he can make more money. But that is where football is at the moment. Loyalty is almost one of those things that doesn’t exist anymore.”
The Donnarumma saga has overshadowed Milan’s impressive business in the transfer market as the club’s new owners – Rossoneri Sport Investment Lux – look to crack the Serie A’s top four for the first time since 2012-13.
Since replacing Silvio Berlusconi, Milan’s Chinese consortium has invested in Andre Silva, Mateo Musacchio, Ricardo Rodriguez and Franck Kessie.
Looking ahead to the 2017-18 season after Milan finished sixth last term, Kalac said: “They played some good football this year. But Juve are Juve. Milan have always been well-known in European circles and Juve have always been well-known as a dominant force in Serie A.
“This year, Juve were very successful in Europe as well as winning the championship. These other clubs in Italy are trying to get closer. It’s good to see they are actually investing and starting to buy players for the future as well.
“They are good times. I think if it’s a good brand of football, Milan will be up there. But I think they are still a long way from being what Juve are,” the 44-year-old Australian continued.
“I think [breaking into the top four] has to be goal, to be in that top four to get back into the Champions League. To be where Milan deserves to be, on the European stage.”