Mirabelli on exits of Gattuso and Kucka, huge Bonucci fine and Donnarumma’s renewal

By Oliver Fisher -

Former AC Milan director Massimiliano Mirabelli has lifted the lid on a number of important events that took place while he was at the club.

Mirabelli arrived at the Rossoneri under Yonghong Li’s ownership back in 2017, and oversaw a transfer campaign which saw Milan bring in a number of high-profile players for over €100million.

However it would be fair to say that the era was not a huge success as both he and CEO Marco Fassone were given their marching orders a year later when Yonghong Li defaulted on the repayment of loans and Elliott Management seized control of the club.

Mirabelli has previously been outspoken about key things which happened during his time at Milan – such as having an agreement in place to sign Cristiano Ronaldo.

Now, he has revealed more in an interview with TeleLombardia, and MilanNews.it have transcribed his words.

He began by discussing Leonardo Bonucci – a player who arrived towards the end of that window for a joint club record €42m fee.

“Bonucci was a great professional. There, a problem is a success because I told him he had to lead by example,” he said.

“After the red card against Genoa I gave him an exaggerated fine – a €100,000 fine. I told him he had to accept it as a captain to set an example for everyone.

“During our first market session we had serious problems with renewals. Not to the numbers that are read in the newspapers, but we had made one of the youngest teams in Europe. We had in mind to make a young team on which to build an important future. 

“That team easily arrived in the Europa League and reached the Italian Cup final, to then touching the Champions League spots. 

“With Gattuso we believed that with that base we could do well. That was a base, then there were several market windows. The facts say however they say that the squad has not been improved, but I do not say it because of their standing in the league table. The future is what worries me.”

The Rossoneri continue to be linked with a move for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but Mirabelli does not believe he is the man to save Milan’s season.

“Your salvation cannot be a player of almost 40 years, even if it now comes and does well. You have to go and identify those players you can build on and that will take you to the Champions League. I am sure that Ibrahimovic in Italy would do well, but you must have clear ideas.”

On the situation surrounding Gianluigi Donnarumma’s renewal, he added: “I think Donnarumma is one of the strongest goalkeepers. If you want to keep him I see no difficulty in getting him to sign for another three years. 

“If I succeeded I am a fool why can’t the champions who are there at Milan succeed? 

“Raiola, before I arrived, took over 100mln from Milan. I saw the papers. We also renewed Romagnoli, Calabria and Cutrone.”

On Suso: “Suso is a great player for me, he’s not a problem. But Suso forces you to play in a way, Suso is very good at doing that. He is a player who knows how to do that thing well.”

Influential midfielder Juraj Kucka was allowed to leave for Trabzonspor shortly after Mirabelli’s arrival, something he regrets.

“It was one of my greatest sorrows. When Gattuso arrived we wanted to bring him back, but when Montella was there he chose to leave after talking to the coach. The great offer from Turkey arrived and he decided to accept it.”


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Tags AC Milan Gennaro Gattuso Juraj Kucka Leonardo Bonucci Massimiliano Mirabelli Zlatan Ibrahimovic