Yonghong Li: “Ibrahimovic? He is an extraordinary player; Gazidis should change his plans”

By Oliver Fisher -

Former AC Milan president Yonghong Li has urged current CEO Ivan Gazidis to alter the way he is running the club at present.

Yonghong Li led the group Rossoneri Sport Investment which bought the club from Silvio Berlusconi in 2017, and he instantly made headlines by backing a summer transfer window which saw a number of high-profile players arrive for a combined sum of over €200million.

His time in charge would be short-lived however, as he defaulted on the repayments of the loans that he took out to buy the club, with American hedge fund Elliott Management seizing control.

During an exclusive chat with our correspondent Vito Angele, Yonghong spoke about a number of current issues at Milan, including the current running of the club by Elliott Management.

“AC Milan was more than just an investment for me. It was my passion,” he revealed.

“So yes, it was tough when AC Milan was taken from me. As you know it’s a long story but my business associate, David Han, spoke to Forbes about it a few months ago.

“I’m sure you know my views on Elliott Management. I don’t think that the firm saw or will ever see the club as I see it. Elliott has other motivations and its background speaks for itself.”

Gazidis and Elliott are running Milan with few positive results so far in sporting terms, and we asked Yonghong about whether the club are taking the right course, especially in letting players like Ibrahimovic and Bonaventura leave.

“I’ll just say this – Ibrahimović is an excellent player who still gets results. Clearly, Gazidis is employing another strategy but – with regard to its usefulness – only time will tell.

“Gazidis has a tough task to carry out. I don’t want to complicate it by saying what he is doing is right or wrong. Although, looking at the results, it is clear to me that something ought to change.”

Tags AC Milan Yonghong Li Zlatan Ibrahimovic