AC Milan technical director Paolo Maldini believes that the reports of interest in Franck Kessie from Barcelona are ‘normal’ and also stressed a desire for the team to improve next season.
Maldini spoke during an interview with SportMediaset before the game against the Nerazzurri and began by speaking about the display laid out for fans to hold up, which is a plea for peace in Ukraine.
“They are symbolic events but they have enormous meaning for us. Having a war in Europe in 2022 is something no one could expect, it’s terrible. We must show closeness to the Ukrainian people with these symbolic gestures, but which have meaning for us,” he said (via MilanNews).
On what he told the team: “I don’t speak as frequently as the coach, but I can understand that when we get closer to a match like this there is tension, then it’s up to the coach to soothe the spirits.”
On Ibrahimovic: “He is a winner, it is right that he says this. Maybe we can win this year and it doesn’t mean that he can’t have a future with us anyway. He is thinking about being available again, then we’ll see.”
Milan have found themselves in somewhat of a rut in the league as they dropped points against bottom-placed side Salernitana in a 2-2 draw and followed that up by drawing 1-1 against Udinese at San Siro on Friday night, while Inter are not coming into the game in the best form either.
On the standings: “We didn’t win the last two games, which on paper could have been easier games. Our squad is still super, we aim to do better next year. We are not perfect, we have defects as well as others. There is no dominant team in the title race.”
On what to improve: “I think we are competitive in many departments. Right now we have two highly experienced players out, we are probably suffering. The experience of certain players is essential to prepare certain games. We have to improve everything to compete at high levels.”
Meanwhile, there is a lot of speculation doing the rounds both in Spain and in Italy which is suggesting that Kessie’s head might already be elsewhere in view of next season as Barcelona have a strong interest in signing him for free.
On Barcelona’s interest in Kessie: “It’s normal, his contract is expiring and we don’t have an agreement yet. The stance is the one dictated by the club, we absolutely will not deviate from it.”