Massimiliano Mirabelli said Gianluigi Donnarumma must “beg” if he wants to leave AC Milan as the sporting director appeared to take aim at showman agent Mino Raiola, who he claims is trying to “damage” the club.
Donnarumma was targeted by Milan fans at San Siro on Wednesday amid reports the 18-year-old’s agent Raiola may seek to have the goalkeeper’s latest contract extension cancelled.
Milan ultras also brandished a banner which read “Our patience is finished” as the Italian side defeated Verona 3-0 in the Coppa Italia midweek, and the Italy international was visibly shaken by the treatment, consoled by captain Leonardo Bonucci prior to kick-off.
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Mirabelli, however, remains confident of retaining Donnarumma – who signed a new contract in July to keep him at Milan through to 2021 having been reluctant to do so following a drawn-out saga, while the 48-year-old seemingly blamed Raiola for the latest development.
“Our position is clear: we do not need to sell anyone,” Mirabelli told reporters. “If a player did want to leave, he would have to tell us first, then obviously a club would need to meet our demands. We will not be grabbed by the throat by anyone.
“Gigio is an exceptional lad, I spoke to him a few minutes ago and he never said he wanted to leave. Perhaps there is a gentleman who wants to organise something, but we will look out for Milan’s interests in every arena.
“We understand the fans are upset, but they ought to jeer the opposition and not our own players. It’s not all Gigio’s fault and we must support him, because he is part of the club’s heritage.
“We must protect him, as we know where the rot is coming from. We hope to resolve this situation soon.”
Full-time! We are through to the #TIMCup quarterfinals! Ready for another #DerbyMilano!
3-0 e siamo ai quarti! Ci attende il derby con l’@Inter!#MilanVerona 3-0 #TIMCuppic.twitter.com/pv3Kowml27Article continues below
— AC Milan (@acmilan) December 13, 2017
Mirabelli added: “I have no meeting planned with Raiola. The lad has a contract to 2021, so I have nothing to say to Raiola. We are closer than ever to Gigio, because we have no intention of selling him.
“If he wants to leave, he has to beg us, but I spoke to him and he never asked that. He loves Milan. We will protect Gigio and Milan from some gentleman who is trying to damage our club.
“One day, Gigio will realise where the good and the bad really is. There is some gentleman who is becoming more of a showman than anything else. We can laugh it off, but won’t let him get away with it.”
The border boy is headed to the capital. Midfielder Joe Corona was loaned from Club Tijuana to Club America on Wednesday during Liga MX’s draft.
Corona, a San Diego native, made the short trip across the border to play in Tijuana’s academy and signed with the senior team in 2010. He’s been there ever since, except for loan stints with Veracruz and Dorados de Sinaloa, which shares ownership with Club Tijuana.
Now, Corona is headed to join Mexico City side Club America, where he’ll reunite with former Xolos manager Miguel Herrera. Corona arrives to the capital on a year-long loan while two more of his teammates this Apertura, forward Henry Martin and defender Emanuel Aguilera, are joining America on a permanent deals.
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El mediocampista ?? ?? Joe Benny Corona es prestado al Club América un año por @Xolos
Bienvenido @JoeCorona15 ? pic.twitter.com/kMyzgdi6p4
— Club América (@ClubAmerica) December 14, 2017
Moving the other direction is Pablo Aguilar, a center back who had played with Tijuana for several years before transferring to Club America.
In many ways, Corona grew with Club Tijuana, helping the team lock up promotion from the Ascenso in 2011 and lifting the Liga MX trophy under manager Antonio Mohamed in the 2012 Apertura. While he continued to contribute most seasons, most recently finishing the Apertura starting seven of 17 league games and also making three Copa MX appearances, Corona struggled to help Tijuana to the heights it reached in 2012.
He’ll look to earn a starting role with Las Aguilas, who are coming off a season in which they finished third in the regular season table but stumbled through the Liguilla with zero goals in four matches and an eventual semifinal elimination. In addition to the teammates who were dealt Wednesday, Corona also will reunite with defensive midfielder Guido Rodriguez. The Argentine moved in the summer along with Herrera.
The 27-year-old Corona made his debut for the U.S. national team in 2012 and has amassed 20 caps in his career. Most recently, Corona played in two matches at the 2017 Gold Cup, helping the Stars and Stripes to the continental championship.
An unlikely team emerged as the most active early in the Liga MX draft with Queretaro bringing in two of the biggest names in the transfer window.
Wednesday’s draft is the only day players can move within Liga MX, and while the deals often pick up later into the night as the deadline approaches, the Gallos Blancos got their business done early. In addition to exercising their option on previously on-loan defender Hiram Mier, the club also acquired left back Miguel Samudio from Club America on a full transfer and attacker Edson Puch on a six-month loan from Pachuca with the option to buy.
¡@samudiomiguel10 es #Gallo! Llega como compra definitiva.
Monaco star Fabinho is expecting to leave the reigning Ligue 1 champions before the start of next season.
The Brazil international was strongly linked with moves elsewhere before the current campaign started, with Manchester United among those reportedly interested.
But Monaco opted to retain the services of the versatile midfielder, with Bernardo Silva, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Benjamin Mendy and Kylian Mbappe all allowed to leave.
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Fabinho has not been quite as impressive this term as he was last season, though he is still sure to attract interest from some of Europe’s biggest clubs.
And those clubs will now be on alert after Fabinho confirmed his expectation of an end-of-season exit, as opposed to leaving in January.
“I don’t think so [regarding a January departure],” Fabinho said ahead of Friday’s trip to Saint-Etienne. “I’ve had no contact [from other clubs] and I’m secure at Monaco.
“[But] ordinarily, it’s my last season at Monaco. Nothing is signed.
“During the [close-season] transfer window, and even a month afterwards, it was a little difficult to live with the situation. But I don’t think about it anymore, I’ve turned the page.”
Atletico Madrid have been highlighted as a possible destination, though Fabinho is adamant that the Spanish club are yet to approach him or his agent.
He said: “Yes, that’s a possibility, though no one from Atletico has contacted me or my agent.
“I’ve got to demonstrate that I am still at the required level to play in teams like them [Atletico]. I know that I’m not the same Fabinho of last season, but it’s hard to explain why.”
The Houston Dynamo have secured the services of Alberth Elis on a permanent basis after working out a transfer with Monterrey, the MLS side announced Wednesday.
Elis spent last season on loan with the Dynamo but his status was uncertain heading into the offseason.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but reports indicate the Dynamo paid a $2.5 million fee for the 21-year-old Honduras international and gave him a three-year contract.
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“We are looking forward to Alberth continuing to bring his desire to attack defenders with his speed, his decision-making, and his scoring mentality. That is something that Alberth brought in 2017 and we hope he brings that again in 2018,” Dynamo head coach Wilmer Cabrera said in a statement. “We are going to help him develop different skills, so he can grow as a player and help the team.”
You asked, you got it.@alberthelis17 is #ForeverOrange: https://t.co/MaX0rzET8Mpic.twitter.com/vH0WfgDVCm
— Houston Dynamo (@HoustonDynamo) December 13, 2017
In his debut season for Houston, Elis excelled for the Dynamo, scoring 10 goals and assisting on four others in 26 league games, which included 18 starts. His addition to the attack helped Houston on a run to the Western Conference final. Elis scored one goal in four playoff games — the winner against Sporting KC to send the Dynamo through to the Western Conference semifinals.
Prior to joining Houston, Elis made his professional debut with C.D. Olimpia in Honduras. After three seasons with the club, he moved for a half-year stint with Monterrey in Liga MX before joining the Dynamo on loan before the 2016 season.
Elis has become an important part of the Honduras side that missed out on the 2018 World Cup after falling to Australia in the inter-continental playoff, and was nominated to the CONCACAF Best XI for 2017.
He will occupy one of Houston’s three designated player slots alongside Erick “Cubo” Torres and Tomas Martinez.