Pioli discusses Tonali, early conversations with Ibra and his ‘biggest game yet’

By Ben Dixon -

The importance of Wednesday night’s Champions League fixture against Newcastle United cannot be glossed over. A less-than-favourable result could send the cogs into motion to begin the end of Pioli’s tenure as AC Milan’s manager.

Milan is a team needing miracles, and Pioli has to prove to be the one who can at least provide the Rossoneri with their side of the bargain in their runnings. The situations that face the club are understood, though the solution is not. How to win the Scudetto? Overcome a nine-point deficit. How to progress in the Champions League? Be victorious against the Magpies, and hope Borussia Dortmund prevails against Paris Saint-Germain. 

Following the loss against Atalanta, the 58-year-old has to prove that Milan’s higher-ups should reinstall their confidence in him rather than look to other avenues in the hope of success.

Pioli, alongside Christian Pulisic, was asked questions at St James’ Park and his comments were relayed by MilanNews.

What were your words to the squad on the pitch of St James’ Park?

“It was very simple, also because we had already talked a lot this morning. We have only one objective, only one possibility: to win the game. We know what awaits us, what opponent, and what environment we will face. It’s the first real crossroads of the season.”

Early conversations with Ibrahimovic?

“We spoke yesterday. I think he’s always been a top player, he’s faced all the challenges with intelligence. He will definitely be an added value and an asset for the whole club.”

Could a victory serve as a catalyst for the rest of the season?

“We talked about it, we know the importance of the game and the importance of staying in Europe. We all expect to play a great game against an opponent that is very difficult. We have to make this moment our moment.”

The situation with Sandro Tonali…

“I am very close to him, he was a very positive guy with us and very important for the team’s growth. Unfortunately, he fell into a delicate thing. We are close to him and I hope that this experience can serve him to do better in the future.

“His footballing qualities? There is no doubt. For sure Newcastle got a very good player.”

Were you aware of the situation with Tonali?

“Absolutely not. I think I have a fairly open relationship with the players, I try to talk to them about a lot of things but what they do we don’t know in full.”

Newcastle’s displeasure over the Tonali situation…

“I think the moment they bought a player like him Newcastle made a bargain, then no one could predict what happened.”

Will Leao be ready to start?

“He’s fine, he’s in condition to play from the start.”

Is this your biggest game as Milan’s coach yet?

“Very important yes. We’ve already played many of them at a high level but as far as this season is concerned it’s certainly the most important.”

Tags AC Milan Newcastle Milan Stefano Pioli


  1. He spits superlatives about Tonali but still agreed to sell him. He didn’t know anything about his gambling problem. Sure thing John Malkovich from Wish👍

  2. “Were you aware of the situation with Tonali?”

    Hahaha the journalist in full FBI mode, how can he even asks that question. Someone knows how Newcastle is handling the case? I know that Juventus supported and extended Fagioli.

  3. “I think the moment they bought a player like him Newcastle made a bargain”

    So basically he’s saying Foolani and Moncada could have gotten more money from selling him 😅lol

    1. Please. He was being kind. Everyone knows Newcastle way overpaid for Tonali. As if there were better offers out there for him. Or any offers at all.

  4. 🤣🤣🤣.
    The extra money that Foolani could have gotten for Tonali, was it more or less than the money that Maldini got for Donnarumma, Hakan, Kessie, Romagnoli, Bonaventura?
    Everyone who watched Tonali play for Milan the last 3 years know that Milan robbed Newcastle.
    Tonali at best was worth 40 mil.
    Milan got 70 mil.
    Real Madrid paid 100 mil for Jude Bellingham and Tonali is a quarter of the player Jude is, yet he cost only 30 mil less than Jude.
    Maldini defenders should never speak and attack anyone for getting not enough money for a player in a sale.
    You might be able to talk about everything else, but you are only embarrassing yourselves when you talk about sales.
    Did Maldini even get 70 million total in 4 years from sales, while at the same time loosing players as good and better than Tonali for free?
    You can say that Foolani doesn’t know football but if you are a Maldini fanboy you should steer clear as far as you can from talking about SALES.
    Totally oblivious to reality.

    1. Maldini fanboys? You mean as huge fan of a symbol Maldini represents for this club? Hell yeah. Forever. You on the other hand cannot call yourself a fan with such hatred towards the greatest bandiera to ever put this shirt on. You are a perfect reflection of what kind of fans these yanks attract. And it pains me to see how the standard dropped since Gerry and the boys took over.

      1. Hatred?
        Did I write anything that wasn’t true? Just because the truth hurts your feelings doesn’t mean that it’s hatred.
        If anyone is being hateful and xenophobic in here, is you. Calling the owners yanks.
        Fanboys get triggered, get emotional, lose their minds, and are unaware how they behave. That they are doing the things that they are accusing other people of doing.
        I am a Milan supporter. Not a worshipper of a current or ex player or in this case, an ex employee.
        Imagine being so delusional as a Maldini defender to criticize Milan’s current management about a sale.
        Kessie, Hakan, Donnarumma were/are all better players than Tonali when they were lost for free under Maldini.
        Bonnaventura even today at 34 might be better than Tonali. The only player that Maldini lost for free that was a lesser player than Tonali was Romagnoli.
        Do any of you bring up how much money Milan lost on the Paqueta sale by Maldini? Or you have Selective memory. Paqueta was better player then and is a better player today than Tonali.

        1. You’re right, hatred is not a proper word. It’s more a disrespect. If anyone’s delusional here it’s you. No one starts with Maldini but you. Anywhere we share our opinion over an article you find some connection with Maldini and start jacking off. You just can’t get over the facts he stated. In numbers. You sound like one of the errand boys of Gerry. And now you’re putting Paqueta situation in Maldini as well? Do you even read what you write? It was the coach, both Giampaolo and Pioli who were not able to bring the best out of him. And at least they sold him. What’s next? You gonna find some weird connection with Kluivert, Davids and Rivaldo who all failed at Milan? There’s got to be a way to blame that on Paolo as well right?

        2. @🔴⚫️
          First, you need to understand that: Hakan, and Kessie were signed by Fassone and Mirabelli for Montella when Yong Li bought the club from the legendary Berlusconi.

          Donnarumma was an academy product bloodied by Mihajlovic. By the time Yong Li took over, he threw his first tantrums with Raiola. I hope you remember. The fall out was he got a fat paycheck and his brother was even signed with a high paycheck for a GK that was not even second choice.

          Basically, all the signings by Yong Li got high wages which when Elliot took over, they tried to reduce. They chose Gazidis after seeing his work with Arsenal FC.

          Bonaventura and Romagnoli were part of Berlusconi’s last buys. Both of them changed their agents to Raiola, apparently they realised the guy could get them better deals.

          Paqueta on the other hand was a Leonardo signing, so it was easy to sell him, WHEN Pioli sanctioned the sale.

          So when you say Maldini couldn’t make sales I wonder what exactly he was supposed to do.

          Real Madrid couldn’t sell Gareth Bale. He ran down his contract.
          Paul Pogba did the same with Man United.
          Real Madrid couldn’t get a dime for Luka Jovic. They had to give him to Fiorentina free.

          So, when you guys talk about losing a player free, always report the full gist, before pointing fingers.

    2. “Real Madrid paid 100 mil for Jude Bellingham and Tonali is a quarter of the player Jude is, yet he cost only 30 mil less than Jude.”

      That really puts things in perspective now doesn’t it?

  5. Ted, you’re the real delusional fan here… 🔴⚫Made himself clear by saying you can only blame maldini for sales aspect, and he’s 100% right about it, this doesn’t mean someone is disrespectful towards dini. He got everything right as a player abd manager except the sales aspect.

    1. I guess it depends what you expect from the club. Fans who want to win on the field and compete for trophies couldn’t care less about sales and financial budgets. Maldini has proven that his formula works. Last two seasons under his helm, we won the Scudetto and we went to UCL semi-finals. With the current formula, we are almost expelled from European games and we’re talking 4th place in Serie A like it’s the holy grail.

      1. Last year Milan finished 5th and only made it back into the UCL by some criminal uncovering of Juventus.
        Make no mistake. Last year, with the squad that Maldini built, Milan only made it to 5th on the pitch.

        1. last season milan slipping down by January. this season milan slipping down by October. doesn’t that mean this year milan were more fragile than before?

    2. Actually the only thing he did made clear was bring in Maldini’s name where no one mentioned it.
      Maldini detractors can’t just have a safe day without bringing up his name even when the article is not tied to him. And I always find it amusing non stop, that whenever there was a failure, it was linked to Maldini solely. But when there was success everybody, or everybody else but Maldini were responsible for it.

      This is the first fan base that I have seen constantly attack a bandiera of the club. It’s truly amusing watching people foam at the mouth whenever Maldini praise is brought on.

    3. Let’s break this down for you.

      1. Gazidis controlled the purse. He sanctioned sales and purchases.

      2. This is the exact same role Forolani assumed with added responsibility of being a lame-ass Sporting Director, after Maldini left.

      3. Maldini as SP negotiated wages, etc., but Gazidis DECIDES what to spend on.

      4. With Forolani combining both powers, it’s easy for him to do what he likes.

      5. One of the reasons Leonardo left was because, he made Elliot spend more than they wanted to.

      Basically, Gazidis who by the way was acting and working strictly according to what Elliot wanted did the following things:

      a. Refused to pay what Raiola wanted for Donnarumma.
      b. Refused to renew Bonaventura, because he was a Raiola client.
      c. Refused to pay a paltry 500k to renew Hakan.
      d. Refused to renew Romagnoli because he too had switched and signed Raiola as his agent.
      e. Refused to renew Kessie, because Kessie’s agent was playing games and Elliot never wanted to pay that much.

      1. A hate boner for Maldini won’t let his haters see this facts. As long as they orgasm to that narrative they’ve created of the man on their walls, everything is right in the universe and nothing else matters.

    4. Did I start anything about Maldini and sales aspect under an article that has no connection at all?

      He jacks about Maldini under every article. That doesn’t seem healthy to me. It’s delusional.

      And moreover, he always covers one aspect from Maldini’s time here, where he failed to raise money on Donna, Kessie, Hakan. Why doesn’t he talk how Maldini assembled a Scudetto winning team with close to no budget? How a tacit team already without players or alternatives for Kessie got to semi finals of CL? No, that’s pure luck. Our Scudetto is pure luck.

      So what did this new management achieve until now? Eliott and Gazidis are behind clean accounts. All these yanks did was sack a symbol, sell a fan favourite and (until now as it looks like) wasted 130 million euros.

Comments are closed

Serie A Standings

Live football scores . Current table, fixtures & results.