Maldini confirms Bennacer’s imminent renewal and gives Leao update: “The two parties want it”

By Isak Möller -

Paolo Maldini spoke to the media ahead of AC Milan’s Coppa Italia clash against Torino this evening. The Rossoneri director revealed two key updates on the renewals of Ismael Bennacer and Rafael Leao. 

Off the pitch, Milan are working hard on the renewals of Bennacer and Leao, with the former more or less completed at this point. On the pitch, Stefano Pioli’s men are gearing up to face Torino this evening.

Speaking to Mediaset, as cited by MilanNews, Maldini shared an update on the two renewals. He revealed that Bennacer’s is more or less done and that the will seems to be there on Leao’s part. Of course, he also spoke about the game.

Are Milan ambitious in all four competitions?

“Yes, the league and the Champions League occupied the first part of the season and now we are focused on the Coppa Italia.”

On the last Coppa Italia won…

“Absolutely, it’s an important trophy that perhaps in the past was not treated as such. I personally remember when we won it, 20 years ago, three days after the Champions League win. But I think that in these 20 years, it has taken on a greater value.”

On De Ketelaere…

“He’s a 21-year-old, a young player with a 5-year contract and on whom a long-term project has been applied. You can’t think that a Coppa Italia match in January is a last resort. I think this is wrong, we have to be balanced. We have seen it many times, and I think the Tonali issue has taught many a lot. We have to wait for these young players who still need to find something different to what they have had before to get to Milan.”

On the market and sustainability…

“We don’t deviate from this line because we have given ourselves a sustainable direction. We feel competitive, we are reigning champions, we still have four competitions to play and therefore we won’t make large investments and in the winter transfer market, we will practically do nothing.

On a possible goalkeeping signing…

“No, we have faith in Tatarusanu who has played excellent games, we have Mirante and we have signed Vazquez. There is no other operation in sight.”

Decisive week for Bennacer…

“Absolutely yes, I think we’ll do it in the next 24-36 hours”

On Leao…

“We are talking, there are video calls and we don’t necessarily have to meet in person. We will try to reach a solution. It seems that the two parties want it and now we want to try to close. Our will is there and that of the player seems to exist. This year we have focused on the renewal of our player base, built with the first transfer campaign of 2019 and practically everyone has renewed. It must be said that all those who wanted to renew have renewed.”

Milan need to bounce back from the 2-2 draw against Roma and with a makeshift eleven, getting through to the next round of Coppa Italia would be a good start for them. The support of the fans is there, with 60k+ expected at the stadium.

Tags AC Milan Paolo Maldini


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