There were some eyebrows raised when Franck Kessie was named as the captain for AC Milan in their game against Fiorentina on Saturday night.
La Gazzetta dello Sport report that the version of Kessie that Milan have seen this year is not that of last season. This time the chair is a little hotter, especially in view of the fact his contract expiring in June and a renewal currently seems far away. Calabria and Romagnoli were out against La Viola though, so Kessie took the armband.
Making Kessie the captain is a symbol but it does not change much in terms of the contract situation because Milan do not want to exceed the €4m salary ceiling they have set – with Ibra the only exception – while the Ivorian’s entourage are asking for abou €6-7m net per year.
Owners Elliott Management have a policy that is clear: Milan come first and that is why at the moment Kessie’s fate seems destined to follow that of Donnarumma and Calhanoglu. Until Saturday he had never worn the captain’s armband from the first minute.
Is it a message from Pioli to the club? Likely. Is it an inevitable gesture due to Pioli’s time at the club? Almost definitely, because he is three games from 200 appearances with the Rossoneri.