Maldini: ‘Milan changed course on Tonali’

Paolo Maldini thanks Milan owners for ‘changing course’ on Sandro Tonali and the overall transfer strategy, but ‘there are no negotiations with Fiorentina for Federico Chiesa.’

Former Brescia midfielder Tonali was presented to the media today after his arrival on loan for €10m with option to buy for €15m plus another €10m in bonuses.

“He is very young and has made his dream come true of wearing the Milan jersey,” director Maldini told Sky Sport Italia of the former Inter target.

“This move was unthinkable only a month ago, but we got here thanks to his determination, the work of the agents, President Massimo Cellino and thanks also to our club owners, who changed course and realised we could do something great here.”

The change of course has been evident since talks with Ralf Rangnick were abandoned and Stefano Pioli signed a new contract.

Considering Milan now seem more intent on following the Maldini school of thought rather than CEO Ivan Gazidis, could sacked sporting director Zvonimir Boban not return?

“The results we achieved post-lockdown are the fruit of planning that had already begin last year. It saddens me that Boban is no longer here, as he is a dear friend and we are a weaker club without him, but we are all trying to find common ground,” explained Maldini.

Boban was sacked after openly criticising Gazidis for negotiating with Rangnick “behind our backs” just weeks after Pioli had been hired.

There are consistent reports in La Gazzetta dello Sport that Milan are trying to sell Lucas Paqueta and Rade Krunic to raise funds for Fiorentina star Chiesa.

“He is one of the best Italian young talents, but there has never been any negotiation between Milan and Fiorentina for Chiesa.”

The Rossoneri officially begin their season on Thursday in the Europa League preliminary round with Shamrock Rovers.

“We are ready, but it’s a pretty scary game, because our opponents are top of their league in Ireland and have already started their campaign.

“We’ve got a few problems, such as Ante Rebic suspended, Rafael Leao and some defenders injured. It’s an away match, a one-off knock-out tie, so of course we’re worried.”

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