Maldini confirms admiration of Botman, calms fans’ expectations and discusses Covid situation

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan director Paolo Maldini did not deny the club’s interest in signing Sven Botman from Lille, and urged a solution to be found regarding the Covid crisis the league is in.

Milan’s preparation for Roma’s visit has been largely affected by Coronavirus cases in the squad and due to the absences, Pioli has been forced to go with a makeshift XI for tonight’s big clash against Jose Mourinho’s squad, which has top four implications.

The defensive trio of Davide Calabria, Fikayo Tomori and Alessio Romagnoli will miss the game due to Covid-19 and they aren’t the only ones because Ismael Bennacer and Franck Kessie are on international duty and Simon Kjaer is out for the rest of the season.

Maldini was interviewed by DAZN before the game against Roma and was first of all asked for his thoughts on the chaos that surrounds the league at the moment with some games cancelled, some going ahead and seemingly little consistency in the criteria.

“I would say that it would be appropriate to arrive at a common solution, which includes a document that ensures that we can reach the end of the season and that is also approved by the government,” he said (via MilanNews).

“The only way to agree is to sit down and try to face the matches with absences. Today out of nine defenders we have four. One is injured like Kjaer, one is at the African Cup of Nations, the others have caught the virus. Is that a problem? Yes. Shall we back down? No. It has always been our idea, the pandemic has created many other problems.

“We do not feel penalised, each ASL has a territorial competence. Until a common document is made, I believe that unfortunately the treatments will be different but we must not feel penalised, absolutely.”

Maldini also spoke about the team’s ambitions to go on and win the league and the project that is being carried out by the management, which is one centres around youth.

“Last year I tried to push the idea of ​​getting to the title a little bit but it was a bit of a gamble. In football and in life many times you have to try to aim for the maximum, only by having very big goals can you reach the maximum.

“At the beginning of this year I was laughing because they didn’t even give us in the top four, I knew we were stronger than last year also because last year’s young players have an extra year of experience and therefore it is clear that a there had to be improvement.

“Unfortunately, we cannot think of Berlusconi’s AC Milan, and I say unfortunately because Berlusconi’s AC Milan took on the best players in the world and instead this AC Milan must be sustainable. Don’t expect multi-million signings. We will always try to be sustainable because this is the mission given to us by our ownership.”

Finally, Maldini also responded to a question about the Rossoneri’s reported interest in Sven Botman of Lille, who numerous sources believe is the club’s No.1 January target.

“Botman is a very good player, of course he is owned by Lille and has a contract until 2024. Of course he is not the only good player, there are other players available. Perhaps the only need right now, due to Simon’s injury, is that of a defender.

“Then if we will make a defender on loan for six months or a definitive solution for the next few years, we will also have to evaluate based on the price of the player himself and the type of player we will identify.”

READ MORE: Style, strengths, weaknesses and tactical fit – Analysing Milan target Sven Botman

Tags AC Milan Paolo Maldini Sven Botman


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