Gianluigi Donnarumma: Goalkeeper 'felt threatened by AC Milan', says agent
AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma rejected a new contract because he felt “threatened” by the club, not for financial reasons, according to his agent Mino Raiola.
Fans threw fake money at the 18-year-old during Italy Under-21s’ 2-0 victory over Denmark on Sunday, and a banner referred to him as ‘Dollarumma’.
Donnarumma, whose contract expires next year, turned down a new deal last week.
Milan chief executive Marco Fassone denied Raiola’s claims.
He added Raiola and his client’s actions could have cost the club 100m euros.
Raiola, speaking to the Italian media prior to Sunday’s game, had alleged Milan sporting director Massimiliano Mirabelli had put pressure on Donnarumma by telling the goalkeeper he would “spend the season in the stands” if he did not sign.
‘It was nothing to do with money’
Raiola, who last summer brokered the deal that took Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba to Manchester United for a world-record fee, gave a briefing to three Italian outlets on Sunday, although the interview was not released until after Donnarumma had played.
He alleged Milan had imposed a deadline of 13 June for Donnarumma to make a decision on the contract and treated him “like an asset”.
“I was wrong not to immediately stop this infernal machine – with that pounding we could not say yes,” added Raiola.
“We took a decision that we didn’t want to take. It was nothing to do with money. We were threatened.”
Donnarumma broke into the Milan first team as a 16-year-old and has made almost 70 appearances for the club.
“Gigio was initially convinced to stay at Milan, because at age 14 he chose those colours, after contacts with Inter Milan,” said Raiola.
“Now there is a genuine risk he could miss a year. His quality makes that improbable, but this is already on the verge of mobbing.”
Play was briefly halted during the first half of Sunday’s European Under-21 Championship game in Krakow after supporters behind a goal threw fake dollar bills into the net.
Italy Under-21 coach Gigi di Biagio said Donnarumma was not “unnerved” by the incident.
He added: “He behaves as if he is 30 years old and he is capable of dealing with something which goes beyond football.”
‘Donnarumma is not for sale’
In an interview with Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, Fassone said there were “no threats” from Mirabelli that Donnarumma would not play while his contract ran down.
“Our position is clear – Donnarumma is not for sale, so will play next season at Milan,” said Fassone.
“But we cannot risk anything and we are obliged to look for another goalkeeper.
“The bitterness here has to do with the unpleasant way the situation was handled – it could’ve been done without damaging the club, but by leaving like this, they have cost Milan 100m euros.”
He added that if Donnarumma reversed his decision and stayed, he would be welcomed with “open arms” by the club and eventually its fans.