Maldini admits renewals of Donnarumma and Calhanoglu have to ‘take a back seat’

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan technical director has claimed that the renewal situations have taken a back seat until the end of the season.

There is simply no option but to win for Milan against Benevento at San Siro tonight given they have lost two games in a row against Sassuolo and Lazio, with the top four race now more intense than it has been at any stage so far this season.

Maldini was interviewed by DAZN before the game against Benevento at San Siro, with his comments conveyed by MilanNews and translated below.

On being close to the team: “The criticisms are due to the negative results, we had said that there would be difficult days and we should have remembered all the good things done in these days. It is normal to be close to the team.”

Zlatan Ibrahimovic returns to the starting XI for Milan for the first time since the 3-1 win over Parma a few weeks back, having been sent off in that game and then having sustained another muscle issue that needed some time to recover.

On Ibrahimovic’s absence: “It is also conceivable that such a player could have some more injuries, but if we look at his impact with numbers, goals and personality it is normal that he was missed.”

There are now two months remaining on the contracts of the goalkeeper and the playmaker and everything in the media currently suggests that there is a stand-off between Milan and the players, with no agreement imminent and nothing to even suggest that negotiations are heading in the right direction.

On if renewals depend on the Champions League: “These are important speeches. In this moment they take a back seat, in the foreground there is closing the circle and reaching the goal we have been pursuing for so many months.”

Tags AC Milan Paolo Maldini