Maldini discusses Chiesa rumours and ‘unthinkable’ Tonali deal as he hints at defensive signing

By Oliver Fisher -

Paolo Maldini has claimed that there are no talks with Fiorentina over Federico Chiesa as he shed light on the ‘unthinkable’ Sandro Tonali deal.

Last week it was confirmed that Milan had completed a deal with Brescia to sign the 20-year-old talent on an initial loan with option to buy, beating competition from city rivals Inter.

It represents a statement signing for the Elliott Management era and by director duo Paolo Maldini and Ricky Massara, with a lot of media attention generated by the coup.

Technical director Paolo Maldini spoke to Sky Italia about the Tonali deal, with his words transcribed by MilanNews.

“He is a 2000 class, he is very young, he fulfilled his dream, it is a beautiful story, it is a very special thing,” he said.

“It was unthinkable even a month ago, we got to this point thanks to the determination of the boy and the work of the agents. Cellino was a person of absolute value, thanks also to our owners who changed course.”

On the player’s passion for Milan: “It’s not that common, the players are professionals, they have to evaluate the prospects. I spoke with Tonali almost two months ago and told him that we are there for him.

“Our common hope was to bring him to Milan, ensuring that he didn’t lose this dream. We got to the point that things aligned and we managed to bring him to Milan.”

Maldini was also asked about Milan’s reported pursuit of another young domestic talent in Federico Chiesa after reports over the last few days that talks are accelerating. The former Rossoneri captain remained coy.

“He is one of the best young Italians, but there has never been a negotiation with Fiorentina for Chiesa, this is the current state of affairs.”

On his relationship with the owners and Boban, he added: “There are common goals, sometimes the ideas are conflicting, but with a common line things are very natural.

“The results obtained post-lockdown are evident and the result of planning that had already started last year. The fact that Boban is not here saddens me, he is a dear friend of mine, without him we are less strong but we try to arrive at a common idea.”

Milan open the season on Thursday with a Europa League second qualifying round game against Shamrock Rovers.

“We are ready, I hope so, it’s a game that scares us a lot, it’s a team that is doing well, first in their league, we have some problems, Rebic suspended, Leao injured. We play away from home in a knockout game, we are very worried,” he said.

Milan are a bit threadbare in defence with Alessio Romagnoli and Mateo Musacchio sidelined, something Maldini highlighted when asked about the market, hinting it is an area of concern.

On the market: “The idea is to always improve the team, the priorities have been covered, now we have some problems with the central defenders due to injuries. All we can do between now and October we will do to improve the team.”

Tags AC Milan Federico Chiesa Sandro Tonali
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