Maldini sends strong message to Milan owners which Leao likes: “We have to invest now”

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan director Paolo Maldini sent a message to owners RedBird Capital before last night’s 2-0 defeat against Inter in the Champions League semi-final first leg.

Maldini spoke before the game in a pre-match interview that was broadcast on CBS Sports and he sent a clear and unequivocal message to the ownership regarding what Milan have achieved so far but what must come next.

“Although we are playing in a Champions League semi-final, we are not yet at the level of the best clubs. We have to make investments now, to reach that level and not risk taking steps backwards,” he said (via

“I played twice in a Champions League derby and we won both times. For a boy who grew up in Milan and wears a Milan shirt, it’s the most important match, but playing him in a semi-final is even more so.

“We’ve always played the return leg away this year, but that’s okay. We always want to dream, regardless, as Milan must do.”

Maldini was also asked about the absence of Rafael Leao, who was unable to recover from an adductor problem and was therefore forced to miss the match.

“Obviously he is our best player and he was the best player in Serie A last year. But we have a mentality where we don’t complain about injuries, that’s right. But he will certainly be fine for the return match.”

What is quite interesting is that a clip was posted showing Maldini asking for investments to be made, and Leao showed his approval by liking the post on Twitter.

Tags AC Milan Paolo Maldini


  1. Definitely boss. we have to invest more money for good player. not aging or free agent player. Look at city, inter, psg, liverpool, united and also munchen. They always invest the money. There is no history UCL champions with free agent or aging players.

    1. Inter are you sure? They have, also signed free agents those who, are nearing the end of their careers! They are a selling club..

  2. The investment since Elliott took over:
    18/19, 194 mil spent , 88 mil received from sales
    19/20 124 mil spent, 59 mil received from sales.
    20/21 32 mil spent, 52 received from sales
    21/22 93 mil spent, 5 mil received from sales
    22/23 48 mil spent , 11 mil received from sales.
    But people will tell you Elliott was just at Milan for profit.
    Look at the money invested in transfers prior to 2020. Then in 2020 something happened that rocked the whole world. All clubs were affected financially, but they still put money even after that, while at the same time working to lower the debt of the club. People fail to grasp that Milan still run losses every year. Winning the scudetto doesn’t bring much money. 23 mil is what the Champion receive for winning the scudetto. TV rights money are also pitiful.
    Serie A and Italy are the issue, not the owners. It’s not a profitable league. That’s why the richest people or corporations don’t wanna buy Serie A clubs.
    EPL team have big financial power because of the money they receive through their league not because their owners have more money than Elliott or RedBird.
    ManUtd fans call their owners cheap and broke even though they spend over 200 mil almost every summer.
    Next problem is how is the money available spent, and for that Maldini needs to look himself in the mirror and stop whining on TV and the media

    1. I agree with your post. Though it’s hard to judge Maldini on the CDK transfer alone when he got us the best left back and probably keeper in the world.
      I like when u said ppl fail to grasp we’ve been running losses every year. It’s true. It means we don’t bring in a much as we can create so investments puts us in a bigger hole.

      1. Maignan is the best GK but let’s look at that transfer.
        He was signed for 15 mil.
        Why was he signed?
        Because Maldini lost a 21 year old top 5 Gk in the world at the time for free, whose value was probably 60,70,80 mil. So even though Maldini did great replacing Gigio, the money lost from Gigio departure is the reason why there are not more investments. So that’s at least 80 mil financial hole just in the GK department.
        Why was CDK signed?
        To replace Hakan.
        35 mil spent on CDK to replace 30-35 mil worth Hakan who left for free. That’s a 70 mil hole. Which is going to get even deeper because CDK is not good and Milan will still needs to spend more to replace Hakan.At least Maignan filled the hole.
        You can’t have a sporting director who can’t sell and loses players for free and expect to be a competitive team with the best of Europe.
        That’s why I said. He likes to go in the media and cry but he is a major problem in this whole lack of investment issue.
        We all love Maldini. Best defender ever and Milan biggest legend. He ABSOLUTELY NEEDS TO BE PART OF MILAN, but not as a sporting director. Give him the vice president role, COO, or something else but hire a real professional sporting director.

        1. “Because Maldini lost a 21 year old top 5 Gk in the world at the time for free”

          Did Maldini have the money for him? You act as he did while pretty much everyone knows THE CLUB DIDN’T HAVE THE FUNDS.

          Should Maldini paid Gigio from his own pockets? Some people…

          1. @bb I don’t know if you can’t to understand this or you don’t wanna understand this on purpose, because it was explained clearly, but the issue isn’t not renewing Gigio, the issue is NOT SELLING HIM. You and the rest of Maldini defenders keep using the same excuse: should Maldini pay Gigio from his own pockets?”.
            NO. But he doesn’t need funds to sell . He needs a KNOW HOW. And I don’t care how much you wanna excuse and defend him, there is no defending his obvious inability to sell players which is a major problem that Influence our lack of funds

          2. CALMA everybody. I think you both raise good points. We can’t assume it’s just Maldini’s fault for not renewing Donnarumma, Calhanoglu or Kessie. Ultimately, the ownership is going to be involved in approving/denying renewals and approving/denying sales. They had to have understood the risks of trying to negotiate with players through the final year of their contracts.

            It was obviously a calculated risk, as it’s well settled that any business’s greatest expense is wages. You can buy a player for 30m and pay him 1m per year and it’s 35m you’re spending over 5 years. You can sign a player free (include academy players in this group) and pay him 15m per year and it’s 75m over five years you’re spending. Also, if you sell Calhanoglu or Kessie for 20m (in the final year of their contract), are you going to get replacement level players for that number? No. So you keep them and play for tomorrow. It’s like paying 20m to qualify for the CL to earn 40m. In the end, increasing revenue over the long term beats making a one time sale in the short.

            It’s true that not capitalizing on expiring players is a risk, but in the case of Donnaruma, for example, the club obviously decided that it would be better to use his talents (top 5 GK it seems) to help us qualify for the CL, rather than sell him for 40m (no way he was getting sold for 60, 70, 80 mil with one year left in his contract) and then replace him with an unknown quality. It seems to have worked out given that we finished 2nd and qualified for the CL.

            TBH, in the end I also think that failing to capitalize on expiring players is an error. Yet, it’s impossible to understand the thoughts of management without having been in the room.

          1. Sure, the director, who built a scudetto winning team that got to the last 4 of the UCL and owners who saved the club from bankruptcy and are fighting for a new stadium are the problem. You have the patience of a child. There are no problems at the club. The debts should be wiped out by the end of the season and M&M will be more cautious in the transfer market.

        2. the reason he didnt sell is because he was told to keep them and try to resign them for idiotic amounts by our ownership and the Arse fro Arsenal who let Van Persie leave for nothing. It isnt on Maldini, those decisions came from higher ups

        3. @Z I get what you’re saying but The so-called three who left for no fee have different stories behind them. In two of of the three, we couldn’t really sell ie Gigi and Kessie because they stood to receive bigger contracts by running down their Milan contracts. It’s not that we couldn’t sell, it’s just that they wouldn’t budge. Gigio’s agent at the time wanted a hefty commission on re-signing ie signing bonus of 20mil and he wanted a salary for the player at least 7 mil. We met the salary mind you but we didn’t want to pay the agent fees. Selling would not have benefited us, Gigi helped us back into the UCL. Our backups would have lost points. His agent guided him to running the contract down. Kessie kept asking for more and more money every time there was a meeting to the point where we couldn’t afford anymore. It was likely that Barca was matching. Once again we met the salary they demanded when they were with us but eventually went on to bigger contracts elsewhere and agents pocketing fees. Kessie alos helped us to the Scudetto. Chalanoglu basically backstabbed us. He was poised to sign with us and Eriksen got a heart attack and Inter swooped in in snake fashion signed their beloved snake to replace him. That’s just a sh**ty move on his part. Nothing you can do about that.

      2. No one can judge Maldini for the CDK situation, no one was expecting him to flop, not even a lot of the fans that wanted him was expecting him to be a flop.

        Manchester United invested €100m on Antony he became a big flop, above €75m on Maguire and many other’s that were total flops in that team, has the sporting directors that made those moves been killed by hanging today?

        Even if we get €300m to invest on 3 players today I hope we don’t do Manchester United kind of investment by spending lavishly instead let it still be Leao and Theo kind of investment.

        No one can buy Antony for €60m from Manchester United today.

        @Z you are right about Serie A everything sucks in this league starting from their stadiums and TV rights you can barely count up to 7 standard stadiums in Italy check average leagues like the Greek super league or Turkish league u can’t compare the arenas with what we have in in a top 4 league like Serie A. The government or who so ever that restricted the development of stadiums are honestly not ashamed of themselves honestly.

        I’m mostly ashamed when watching Milan play away from home against Spezia or spal then or even Cremonese because of their stadiums, it makes our league look like a university soccer league.

    2. Not to mention what Chelsea has accomplished after spending over half a billion euros in 6 months on transfers!! Money isn’t everything.

    3. if elliot finds Serie A unprofitable, why not just sell it outright?
      why sell it to redbird, by lending them money.
      obviously because elliot can still be in control of the club even if it’s sold.
      also why would redbird buy Milan if Serie alA wasn’t profitable?
      especially if they don’t have the funds to buy decent players.

      – We all love Maldini. Best defender ever and Milan biggest legend. He ABSOLUTELY NEEDS TO BE PART OF MILAN, but not as a sporting director. Give him the vice president role, COO, or something else but hire a real professional sporting director. –

      you mean like nedved, zanetti or even totti?
      he’d already turned down the role to become just a symbol, at the time of the berlusconi-galliani.

      yes i admit Maldini’s performance has been far from perfect, but he’s been in his role as sporting director for only 4 years this June, still green & has a lot to learn.
      donnarumma & hakan incident happened in his second year on the job, maybe Maldini thinks the club is much bigger than the club, those players holding the club hostage by asking for high wages.
      with kessie too, Maldini still considers verbal agreements as binding, as when he /Costacurta every time they extended the contract, just shook hands with galliani then signed the contract few days later.
      but times are different, Maldini is still & will always be a product of his era which is very different to today’s players and their agents.
      and I’m sure he will learn from these experiences.
      when it comes to buying players, there are bound to be a few bad grapes in a kilo of grapes that we buy. because they can only do scouting before buying, not fortune-telling.

      – Maldini needs to look himself in the mirror and stop whining on TV and the media –

      “Although we are playing in a Champions League semi-final, we are not yet at the level of the best clubs. We have to make investments now, to reach that level and not risk taking steps backwards,”

      that is not whining.
      whining is what mourinho talks about in the press conference every time his team loses a match

    4. They did make a profit..and sold the team when we needed to reinforce prior to the sale, they had unfinished business and pawned it off to the next owner that did absolutely nothing this year and we see that decisions impact in full effect. whatever losses they incurred they made up for and gained back in the sale of the team, to the wrong group that had no will to pay what was needed to get us back into a competitive, viable position. Also they got the club for dirt cheap compared to it’s brand’s value, they did this team no favours. The reason they ran losses is because the team was shit, the chinese dude bought useless players for too much money and we never won for over 11 years.

    5. You have to spend to profit mate. That’s business 101. Elliot invested the least amount of money possible into a brand like AC Milan, and got full profit in return, and that’s what they do. You didn’t mention the revenue Milan made, and also the huge profit they made from the eventual sell.

    6. Also Donnarumma couldn’t be sold, because he didn’t want to be sold. Problem began when M&M only managed to renew him for two years, and barely managed to do so. Then he acted like he’s going to renew until the last months of his contract. Nothing Maldini could do. Same thing with Kessie.

  3. We have to invest money to buy players and a good coach who prefers playing beautiful football. Not the one like pioli who relies on 1-2 players always.

    1. man you know nothing about football, NOT LIKE PIOLI WHO RELEIES ON 1-2 PLAYERS is way funny, he releis on 1-2 players bcz we only have 1-2 players to rely on its not like we have halaand on the bench and pioli is giroud, we have no depth whatsoever, pioli is not the best manager but he fits in which is more important , our system clearly works we just need quality players, giroud is 37 he shld be our backup striker, hes been playing every game and people expect him to deliver every game at 37 is beyond reason, 1st half of the season showed that we lack depth a striker a rw and a backup keeper yet cardinale decided to pay nothing and we are paying for it now

  4. Owner : we already give you 50m euro but you wasted it to buy 35m euro for crap CDK , pay signing fee for origoat, loan fee for lord Dest, pay loan fee for aster prank .

  5. We have to change the couch and introduce a new system of play like the attacking football,so that we can achieve our aims….

    1. I agree. I prefer leather couches tbh. It may get sticky in the summer but it does really well otherwise. Polyester isn’t bad either for a couch

      1. Real leather, not fake! Yeah, it’s a PITA in the summer but one can always use a sheet or something in between the couch and yourself to cancel the stickiness issue when necessary.

  6. Cardinal am sorry to say this but the truth must be told. The first thing a new owner always do whenever they take over is to get new players by improving the quality of the squad Not rushing to build stadium which is long term project.
    The stadium which Cardinal is focusing on is like someone deceiving himself by running away from the first responsibility. Every club build first on buying players not a 50m season budget
    Buy players spend money and make Milan competitive and stop hiding under the pretence of building new stadium. I saw the face of scanori last night and I was very happy because he’s feeling the pain I feel always when Milan is playing less and the cause being lack of quality players.
    Inter is not better than Milan but the have so many options in every position
    Spend money cardinal spend money football nowadays is all about money
    Leave stadium first

    1. And you want the 50m to magically appear from where?
      You know where it could come from? A new stadium which can bring us the 40-50m per year
      Smh 🤦‍♂️
      Btw they can do both, it’s not either or scenario

    2. “Cardinal am sorry to say this but the truth must be told. The first thing a new owner always do whenever they take over is to get new players by improving the quality of the squad Not rushing to build stadium which is long term project.”

      NOW you said it?!! Why didn’t you tell him sooner? Now a season wasted because that stupid American didn’t understand ANYTHING about anything. Why don’t you give him a call and give some pointers on how to run a successful football club as you clearly know better. Hope you can give him financial advise too because I think all the millions he has earned were pure luck.

    3. ” football nowadays is all about money”
      – EXACTLY!!! Just look at Chelsea. LOL.

      “football nowadays is all about money
      Leave stadium first”
      – Hmm… Now I’m confused. What is the reason for building the new stadium? I think it was money. To get more income. So… Remind me again why should the new stadium be forgotten when it brings in more money and money – after all – is everything? 😀

  7. Having the funds to invest is one thing but if we invest in the wrong players like CDK and Origi we are doomed like Chelsea.

    We need to follow Napoli scouting model because they were able to win the scudetto after getting rid of quality players like Dres Mertens, Koulibaly and Insigne.

    So getting the right players is what matters most. We have to replace Simon Kjaer and Ibra who are way too old and should have left last season.

    Out: Ibra, Kjaer, Ballo-Toure, Florenzi, Bakayoko, Dest, Messias, Origi, Rebic, and unfortunately Adli. No point in keeping a player the coach doesn’t use.

    That’s a total of 10 players Milan will have to replace. It shouldn’t be this way if Milan management invested in 2-3 quality players per transfer window. Smh

    There is also a lot of free agents available that Milan can recruit.

    Marcus Thuram, Reid’s Nelson, Evan N’Dicka, Youri Tielemans, Mahmoud Dahoud, Ellyes Skhiri from Koln who is one of the best DM in Europe.

  8. Evan N”dicka just like Houssem Aouar is about to sign with Roma.
    Both on a very affordable and relatively low wages.
    Mourinho and Pinto have more pull than Maldini and Pioli.
    It ain’t just about money. Can you sell your project, can you convince players to sign with you.
    Oh but Maldini doesn’t have the funds, it’s the cheap owners fault.
    Both n’dicka and Aouar will make less money than Origi, Dest, Florenzi, Bakayoko.

  9. PUNOM PAROM U BORBU ZA ČETVRTO MJESTO U LIGI !! Zaboravi revanš s Interom i finale LP –to su snovi !! Dosta se zaradilo i treba misliti na sljedeču godinu čija LP donosi nov svjež NOVAC i želju igrača da dođu u Milan kroz transfere koji sljede !! Pioli če opet napravit grešku i stavit rezervnu postavu za subotu !!!!! UŽAS !!!!!

  10. Maldini fan boys wake up, Maldini is part of Milan’s problem. he’s signings are bad. He even thinking of getting Diaz. That says a lot about

      1. Yeah. Maignan (15m), Theo (20m), Leao who is apparently valued at 175m if rumors are to be believed (35m), Kalulu (500k), Thiaw (7.5m), Tonali (20m). People expect us to be signing 4-5 players at 50-60m every summer. Then if those players don’t turn our well it will still be his fault.

  11. I think Milan done well winny the Scudetto last year and reached the CL semis this year with such average squad

  12. Well said Paolo….need $$$ Gerry. Get those alligator arms out and start investing in the squad. 50M/year won’t cut it in todays game

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