Maldini on Pioli’s future: “Everything else can be decided at the right time”

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan director Paolo Maldini has hinted that the result of Friday’s Coppa Italia semi-final second leg will not determine Stefano Pioli’s fate.

The Rossoneri know they must score at least once against Juventus after the 1-1 draw at San Siro in the first leg with the away goals rule in effect.

They must do so without Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Theo Hernandez and Samu Castillejo – all of whom are suspended – plus the injured centre-back duo of Leo Duarte and Mateo Musacchio.

It has been confirmed that Milan will line up in a 4-2-3-1 system like the one seen before the COVID-19 pause, with Rebic supported by Paqueta, Bonaventura and Calhanoglu from right to left.

Maldini spoke before the game and insisted it feels like a sense of normality is returning with competitive action once again underway.

“Our first thoughts go to those people who were tragically lost to this pandemic. It’s not just the restart of football, but of trying to find a form of normality,” Maldini told Rai Sport (via Football Italia).

“Fortunately, my symptoms were not so serious that I had to be hospitalised, but there was a lot of uncertainty in those moments.

“Reaching the Coppa Italia Final is one of our two objectives this season. We had a great game in the first leg, a long time ago, we’ve got a young squad and a very young group on the bench, but we believe that we can do it.”

There is a lot of doubt surrounding the future of Paolo Maldini amid reports the management is set for another overhaul this summer, while there are also doubts over Pioli’s future as head coach.

Maldini, however, has insisted that nothing will be decided tonight.

“What’s decided tonight is who reaches the final between Milan and Juventus, everything else can be decided at the right time.”

Tags AC Milan Paolo Maldini