Ibrahimovic talks Zirkzee pursuit, ‘Mister X’ and ‘guarantee’ on new signings

By Oliver Fisher -

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has promised AC Milan fans that new signings will arrive this summer, confirming that the pursuit of Joshua Zirkzee is now over.

The first day of preseason begins today and there are no new additions to the senior squad given that Geoffrey Moncada and his team are yet to complete any incoming business thus far, which is perhaps not ideal for the new head coach Paulo Fonseca.

The most talked-about issue is the fact that Milan are still without a centre-forward after the departure of Olivier Giroud, and this is the main headline that is taking centre stage on the day of the raduno.

Giroud has gone to the United States meaning Noah Okafor and Luka Jovic are the options at the moment, with both on vacation after the European Championship. Zirkzee looked set to arrive, but then things fell apart and he is now Manchester-bound.

Ibrahimovic spoke alongside Fonseca who was unveiled to the media and the Milan fans in a press conference today and he was asked a few questions about planning for the future. MilanNews relayed his comments.

An opening statement…

“Good morning everyone, welcome to Paulo Fonseca. First day of training at Milanello. Today we are talking about the present, a few days ago we talked about the Futuro. We are happy that the day has come to present Fonseca.

“It is part of our ideas and our strategy: we are studying many things that will come. We are in no hurry. We are very excited, we are very hungry and we have a great desire to begin this new adventure, we are happy. We are excited.”

Can you give us an update on the market? How is the Zirkzee situation?

“We are studying, we are talking. We are in no hurry. The mercato is long. I can guarantee that new signings will arrive. We are talking, discussing. There is nothing done. Zirkee is in the past. We have one in mind, but I will not say the name. There is someone we are aiming for.

“To sign players you also have to create space. We don’t want to have a squad of 30 players, but 23. The new signings will arrive, but we also have to create space so as not to have too many players who are not functional to the coach.

“We have to think not only about who comes in, but also about who will leave. Whoever arrives is to improve the team, everything is designed to improve the roster. It’s not just sign, sign, sign, we don’t have to have 40-50 players like in American soccer.”

What can you tell us about Theo Hernandez’s future?

“Theo is a Milan player. We are lucky that we have 3 players in the semi-finals of the European Championship. He is a Milan player, we know that he is very happy here and his family are fine.

“With the new coach he will have much more space to play the way he likes. Fonseca’s game will also be built on him, it will go very well and I am not worried.”

Origi and Ballo-Touré are not included in the list of players called up for the training camp…

“Origi and Ballo-Touré have been called up, but for Milan Futuro. They are not part of the first team project.”

What will be done to fix the injury problem from last year?

“It’s not just a matter for the coach and the staff. We’ve changed a lot in the medical area. When we had so many injuries we weren’t satisfied. There have also been changes in the medical area, we think we’ve found the right path.”

Are you disappointed that Kia Joorabchian has not lowered his commission demands?

“No. Never disappointed. This is part of football. Reality and rumours are two different things. There are agents who solve problems and agents who create problems. In this case it was neither. The rumours that were going around were not the same as reality. We have an idea for the attack, we hope it comes in as quickly as possible.”

Fonseca will live at Milanello at first…

“Because it costs less (laughs). It’s nice at Milanello. There are journalists who are always outside and want to live inside, but you have to pay the rent, eh (laughs).”

Is it possible for Milan to have three strikers for next season?

“We need to find a solution for those who won’t have space. For the three strikers: one is mister X, the one we’re aiming for. Then it depends on the situations. Jovic is ours. Then it depends on the mister, how many strikers he needs.

“We want to have players who will be used, they shouldn’t be here to waste time. Then there’s the Milan Futuro that we want to push, we want to give the lads the opportunity: but there’s no responsibility on them. Three strikers are possible, nothing is impossible. Let’s see what happens.”

Today the Curva Sud will not be present at the gathering…

“I understand this passion and ambition that they expect. I understand that the fans want to win, but we are on the same page. Today there will be no ultras because many important players are missing, I understand. In the end it is a question of love. We do this to satisfy them.

“Being at Milan means having to deal with pressure, those who work here know that you have to win. Is there a guarantee? No. But we are all in the same boat. We all go straight together, we pedal and we get there. Miracles do not exist, God did not create the world in one day, but in seven days. We are on the first day.”

Tags AC Milan Zlatan Ibrahimovic


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  1. This is why this management fails. The 4th day of the week is when training camp begins. It isn’t the 1st….They hope to save money and go for cheap signings 2 weeks before the first game of the season.

  2. Cardinal’s version of “Mister X” is a cheap knockout of Galliani’s original version.

    You better sign that 31 years old after his best league total of a whooping 15 goals that even players like Boulaye Dia and Giovanni Simone has better league records playing for much smaller teams compared to Morata.

    Let’s see if Cardinal will have the courage to sign on that 13 million check for Morata before some “unpredictable” thing comes out and breaks the whole deal.

    The most pathetic summer in the history of Milan.

  3. So our mister x is Morata.. 😂😂🤣.. Day by day zlatan will lose respect by being the face of the clown and fraud owner and management. Gery thought he will use zlatan to calm Milan fans. Gery is fraud, we all know it. No reason to hide, Gery. You want to sell players to genarate cash and buy cheaper option and thats how you will show profit on year end and sell the club in the end to a larger profit.

    1. Morata who starts for Spain, or Zirkzee who has played about 5 minutes for the Dutch? Morata who has a proven track record at big clubs or Zirkzee who scored just 11 for Bologna?
      Why the hell would anyone want Zirkzee? Give it up, best thing possible to pass on him. Milan already has Okafor with a similar profile.

      1. This is spot on.

        I also wouldn’t be surprised if they signed Jonathan David, who is much better than people on this forum give him credit for. He’s also a player who has experience working with the coach.

        Also, I know people are criticizing Ibra and the rest of the management, but let’s at least wait for them to announce their signings.

      2. What proven track record does Morata has ??
        He played in top tier teams and never scored more than 15 goals in a League season.
        Do you remember Morata in Chelsea, he was a total joke and he similarly struggled in literally every team he played in.

        And in comparison, Morata played 4 years with Juventus, in his best Serie A season he scored 11 goals similar to Zirkzee last year but 11 goals with Scudetto Juventus is way different story than 11 goals with Bologna.

    2. Very funny dude. Sell player to get profit and later sell club , i dont know if you write before thinking, use your logic if you sell all your star player mostly you can get 300m euro max while your club will have no value and you lost 1,2 billion your money that you use to buy the club from elliot.more worst if your club get relegated. If they want profit , they will build new stadium ( on progress ) that will be make club value double also slowly build the team with combination senior & young player

  4. If I really should wear my best optimist hat, one of the things that make Zirkzee deal fell through was also because Fonseca needs the other kind of profile on striker department. We’ll see.

  5. “Origi and Ballo-Touré have been called up, but for Milan Futuro. They are not part of the first team projec” I loled when I saw this daaamm. Well if that’s not a way of saying hey find another team then I don’t know what is.
    On Zirkzee, as I said before, I have strong feeling that deal fell flat many moons ago and was just the media keeping it alive. Though I’d like us to move more concretely on to the next target. As Ibra said no rush…… Ok fine but there is a preseason to be had and integration.
    I also agree on reducing the size of the squad but I’d like to have a better quality first XI. Midfield the priority ofc. We lack there the most

    1. they are relying on getting off of Origi and Bennacer’s contracts…that is the hold up…everyone wondering why players aren’t already signed…they need to make sure that they manage cap especially for a player like Ribiot.

      crazy that the media has lost all sources inside of Milan and now run with stories like that they are fighting for Zirkzee. Kai decided many months ago that he was going to England and they reported on it! He has his teams that he delivers players to. Its not even legal to take a 15M commission…its not even a good narrative…they compensate him in other ways.

      1. Can’t they put Origi in Futuro like Ibra said? Him and Fode are like 2 players less and that’s if they really really need them, they can call them up. It would also be a hint to their agents as to where their career is heading. Unless the truly don’t care ofc

        1. the problem is its still 4M a year against their cap…4M that could give Theo the raise he wants…or Mike…or be included in the salary for a high quality player…and they have a whole other year of this. This is why people go crazy when the team refuses to lay out huge money to resign simic and i would have hoped they could figure out an extension, but a bad contract can be very debilitating to the team. Its just bad. timing, meanwhile having Zeroli comin up with 5 years at .2M on his contract…thats ideal timing…

          1. Oh I see where you’re going with this. I guess at this point it’s a sunk cost wrt Origi (at least Fode ain’t so bad). We did offload Kjaer, Giroud etc so there is some cap space. But really we should be increasing the cap incrementally each year simply due to the natural growth in the squad value.

  6. Starts for Spain? Proven track record at big clubs? Great achievement, remind me how much he scores?
    Morata in Seria A with Juventus scored: 7,8,9 and 11 goals. That’s 37 year old Giroud numbers and we need an upgrade.
    On the other hand the only other name mentioned is Lukaku – so I pray they choose Morata, but god we we’re hoping for someone better. It’s not that Morata is terrible option, but management had 6 months to look and the best profile they came up is Morata? That’s what p*sses me off.

      1. Replace Morata in that Juve teams with any decent striker and they’ll still win scudetto.
        If forward scores a lot and team manages to lose a game I somehow doubt that it’s his fault and Morata in that situation would somehow help without scoring.

    1. Because contrary with what the management said, they didn’t really work with target in the market. They just wait for the opportunity to arrive and react on it.

  7. Again, Milan doing things their way and Ibra is clearly asking the fans to be patient with the process.

    What would put curva’s (and the fans’) mind at ease here? To outline the entire strategy and name all the names they are after? That will never happen. So realistically what can they say without saying anything specific?

    Exactly what has been said. They know what the gaps are. Sounds like they are trying to plug them. We may agree or disagree how they go about doing it. Whatever.

    Objectively, they have shown last summer they aren’t shy to pull the trigger. They targeted 10 players and brought them in. I don’t see this summer being any different.

    At the end of the day the only choice any of us have is whether to support this team no matter what, or give up altogether. Otherwise showing up here everyday criticizing, downgrading or just talking sh|t about this club and management is solving nothing…

    1. We have the choice and the duty to call out the management for lack of ambition and ineptitude.

      This is not about patience or knowing the strategy, it is about evidence.
      Look at all the extensions and signings all the other big teams in Italy have done already.
      The talented young players are not waiting on Milan management secret strategy.
      Aside from the important fact that players brought in early and have a full preseason are FAR FAR more likely to integrate properly – see Pulisic v Chucky

  8. names change every day. If they get an offer on a player thats too good to pass up, they can afford to spend more, pay higher salaries…there are no targets…there are scenarios…te ams that can be assembled…if you go in with targets, one unexpected move and you are toast. They also want to create space to integrate Camarda and zeoli .

  9. Leao/Okafor — Dovbik/Jovic — Pulisic/Chuku

    Rejnders/Benaser — DM/Pobega — Loftus/Miua

    Theo/Jimenes — Tomori/Gabbia — Kalulu/Twiaw — Simic/Calabria


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