AC Milan CEO Ivan Gazidis has confirmed that the club will look to strike a balance between youth and experience in the summer window.
There has been plenty of debate as to what strategy Elliott Management want the club to adopt; whether it be a continuation of the youth project that they have begun to establish or whether more experienced players like Ibrahimovic and Kjaer will be welcomed after their importance was shown last season.
Gazidis spoke alongside sporting director Ricky Massara and technical director Paolo Maldini at Milanello on Tuesday in the first media appearance of the new season, with the questions and answers transcribed by MilanNews.
Starting with the COVID-19 situation, when can football be a positive value and what are your feelings about the season that is about to begin?
“Coronavirus, for us and for the community, was a big challenge. Football is a community. Football plays a very important role in returning to normality,” he said.
“We hope to get the fans back to the stadium safely, they are a very important part. important in football. We miss our fans, we want them to feel part of the club and we want them at the stadium, as soon as possible, but only in safety.”
What strategy is the market based on?
“We have a young team that is growing in a very positive way. An important part of the strategy is continuity and, as we said, it’s not just about young players. It takes a mix of young and experienced players.
“We want to keep improving the squad. The club has a great challenge ahead: to develop the team and bring the club to a financial, virtuous and sustainable balance.
“In this context, the stadium is a fundamental part. We are working hard and we can’t wait to see the fruits of this work we are doing. Not everything can happen in just one year.”
Does Milan consider Ibrahimovic as central to the project?
“Ibra has played an important role since his arrival in the team and we would like him to continue to have this role. We are doing everything possible to ensure that this negotiation ends positively. It is a special challenge, I am personally optimistic about the closing of the negotiation.”
What are the commercial and sporting objectives of the club?
“I would like to provide a broad vision of the club’s activities, which have the team at the centre. We have made important progress on the stadium aspect and in the commercial area. For the team, we are working with determination. We have focused on talented young players that can grow within the context of growth of the team.
“After the lockdown we had the best performance in Europe, second only to Real Madrid. We must be attentive to new additions. If I think of the last transfer market, we have taken explosive names like Theo and Bennacer, who then grew also thanks to the structures of the club such as, for example, Milanello. We want to continue the progression of our growth this season as well.”
What is the investment plan that you have shared with the property?
“We have a very strong, solid ownership and we have seen significant investments. But the most important thing is the right investments and we have to make them by focusing on the growth of this group of players.
“As Paolo said, we have different challenges how to respect the FFP. Last year we lost almost €150million and we have to act in a regime of control of this financial situation. I detect an unusual market and we have to make the right signings.
“I have a feeling that there will be movements that will take place towards the end of the market and we will be ready to seize the right opportunities.”
Gazidis’ final message: “I want to say two things to our fans around the world. The first is that we would have liked to have you here today and we will do everything possible to communicate, transparently, what your club wants to do to grow.
“The second is a request for our fans: we are doing a difficult, very demanding job with several important and difficult choices. And we do it with great passion to bring Milan back to where it deserves. It is not a fast road, it will take time and patience. We need your support. and your trust, both us and the team.
“We need unity, we work together in one direction and we ask you to come with us on this journey and to believe in us and in the work we are doing.
“I am convinced that the club is growing in the right way and that the name of Milan is respected everywhere. Be part of this journey and we can’t wait to see you again at San Siro to support us with your voice and your love.”