Former AC Milan winger Stefano Eranio has admitted his surprise that both Gianluigi Donnarumma and Hakan Calhanoglu have chosen to leave the club.
At one point it seemed more likely than not that the duo would put pen to paper on new contracts with the Rossoneri, especially given that the club finally managed to secure a return to the Champions League after a seven-year absence. Those who gamble might have seen the exit coming and backed it with betting sign up offers.
MilanNews spoke to Eranio to gather his thoughts on the farewells of Donnarumma and Calhanoglu, the work of Paolo Maldini and the renewal of Kessie.
Did you expect Donnarumma and Calhanoglu to leave for nothing?
“No. Obviously there was a risk, but I always hoped that in the end we could reach an agreement with both of them. I’m sorry because the club didn’t deserve it, especially from Donnarumma who was raised and pampered by Milan. And it’s a real shame because the number one in the national team is one of the strongest goalkeepers in the world and losing him for nothing is not a good thing.
“As for Calhanoglu, the disappointment is double because he went to Inter and this is even more annoying. The other the difference between the salary that Milan offered to both of them and what they will earn is not so great. Calhanoglu has decided to leave Milan and go to Inter for just one million more salary.”
What do you think of the line that the Rossoneri is following on renewals? Agree?
“All clubs should do this, but unfortunately there are clubs that are smart and satisfied the requests of the players and their agents. PSG have signed one of the strongest goalkeepers in the world on a free transfer, even if it must be said that with the enormous commission that the French had to give to Raiola was not exactly a zero-cost deal.
“It is also true that 20 million euros for such a goalkeeper is nothing with the figures that are going around. For Milan it would have been better to extend his contract and then sell him to bring some money into the coffers, but we know that it is never easy to deal with an agent like Raiola. I am sure that Milan have done everything to try to keep Gigio, but if on the other hand there is a deaf person it becomes difficult to reach an agreement.”
You know Paolo Maldini very well, who is also doing a great job as a director. Did he surprise you?
“I have always had faith in him. It is clear that at the beginning it is never easy, he also received criticism in the early days, but he is showing that he understands football. He is doing a great job.”
After the farewells of Donnarumma and Calhanoglu, how fundamental is the renewal of Kessie now?
“Kessie must be renewed immediately. He must be satisfied, he starts from a low salary base so his requests must be satisfied. I am convinced that Milan will make a sacrifice for him. They are difficult players to replace: while there are many Calhanoglus around, there are few of Kessie. So you have to put it in the safe immediately.”