AC Milan director Paolo Maldini has confirmed that there is a chance a new centre-back will not arrive this month, but hinted that if one does arrive it could be a name that has not been mentioned in the media yet.
The Rossoneri have been linked with countless defenders since Simon Kjaer suffered a season-ending injury to his knee that required surgery on his ligaments. The names have been varied, from Sven Botman of Lille to Abdou Diallo of Paris Saint-Germain, passing more recently through England where the likes of Malang Sarr of Chelsea and Eric Bailly of Manchester United have been mentioned as targets.
However, Maldini spoke to SportMediaset prior to tonight’s Coppa Italia last 16 meeting with Genoa at San Siro – with his comments relayed by MilanNews – and he very much suggested that the management are working in secret to find the right profile.
“Too many names as many are really invented. We try to do things with the lights off because it is our way of doing things and our way of working. In this beginning of the season we have seen the solidity and reliability of our reserve defenders so it is not certain that another player will arrive between now and the end of the season,” he said.
It was back on 21 August 1985 that Paolo Maldini took the field from the first minute for the first time in the Coppa Italia against Genoa, and tonight his son Daniel will play his first cup game with the Rossoneri against the Ligurian side.
“The opportunity is to train all the players in a club like Milan and with high-level professionals. He must try to improve and take something from the players he trains with. In Milan there are many historical appeals, I didn’t remember my debut in the Italian Cup but I remember we played 4-5 games at the beginning of the season. It was an incredible and casual thing.”
Finally, Maldini spared a word for his friend and former team-mate Andriy Shevchenko who is apparently under serious pressure at Genoa and could soon be sacked.
“The choice was risky, he knew. Not being inside, I can’t comment on the situation, I certainly didn’t see him happy but those who do this job know the risks of this job. Both players and coaches do this job with their hearts, then there are difficult times when you have to cling to something.”