Former AC Milan director Ariedo Braida has backed Paolo Maldini for the work he has done so far and also urged the Rossoneri to wrap up the signing of Sven Botman.
Braida gave an interview to Calciomercato.com during which he spoke about his vision to back young Italian players at his current club Cremonese but also commented on his former club Milan and some of the players in their orbit.
Can Colombo be the centre-forward of the future for Milan?
“Colombo knows what I think of him: he is a good guy, but he needs to mature. Then time will tell whether or not he will be a Milan player,” he said.
How much do you like the current Milan, and can they compete for the Scudetto?
“Having left the Champions League, I think he will be competitive in the league until the end. But they are a bit incomplete, and the last few games show it. The team has dropped. They will fight for the title, but something is missing, at the moment Milan does not have.”
Would you have already signed a defender in the ‘winter repair’ market?
“It is clear that a centre-back would be useful. As a fan I can say that French friends have spoken very highly of Botman to me. He could be an ideal player for Milan.”
Calciomercato.com are reporting that Maldini and Massara have no intention of giving up on Botman and are convinced they can sign him in the summer, adding that Milan are ‘well on the way to reaching the finish line’ and there is already an agreement in principle over a four-year contract.
The two clubs are negotiating a deal at around €27m as a fixed sum with the addition of bonuses to reach a maximum of €33m, as per the source.
Another figure that Braida knows well is Paolo Maldini, who was a player when he was at Milan between 1986 and 2013 occupying roles as both CEO and sporting director. It was a period in which the club managed to win virtually everything under the ownership of media tycoon Silvio Berlusconi.
What do you think of Maldini’s work as a manager?
“He was a great player, he represents the history of Milan. On the market I think he worked in line with the club’s expectations, I think he did a great job. Even if in my opinion there is still a lot to do, to bring the Milan to be competitive at the highest levels.”
What happened to Milan and Barcelona, big clubs where he was, today with a difficult economic situation? What has changed in international football?
“My Milan was magical, a moment that will repeat itself who knows when. Even if now they are trying to get back to the top. In Barcelona, on the other hand, some follies have been made, difficult to explain.
“You have to know how to make the right assessments. If the clubs go wrong. it is because sometimes the people who lead them are not up to their role. If the managers are good the results will come. We see it also here in Italy, even if I don’t mention names.”