News broke all over social media, Gianluigi Donnarumma decided that he will not renew his contract with Milan. His agent, Mino Raiola, met with Milan’s brass to inform them of the decision. Donnarumma’s current contract is set to expire in June 2018.
Milan released a statement saying that the contract offer they had made to Donnarumma was greater than what was being reported by the Italian media. It was being reported that Milan’s offer was worth €4.5 million per year, plus bonuses.
Read into this decision how you want. Donnarumma’s decision not to renew with Milan could be because he and Raiola don’t believe in this “New Milan” and new ownership group. Perhaps the plan, vision, and details laid out by Milan’s brass didn’t appeal to Donnarumma. Or perhaps, there was really no realistic chance that Donnarumma was ever going to renew with Milan. Donnarumma and Raiola felt it was best for the young goalie to go to a bigger club, one built to win sooner, and where he could get mega-money. We may never know the actual answer and motivation.
Two big questions emerge from this decision. Where do Milan go from here? Where does Donnarumma sign?
Let’s start with the first question. Over the past few seasons, it has been tough times at Milan. Teenage sensation Gianluigi Donnarumma has been just about the only bright spot, and someone Milan fans could get excited about. Now, this “New Milan”, that was making some great signings in the summer transfer market, just got a wrench thrown into their plan. Milan need a new goalie. They have already been linked to; Mattia Perin, Neto, Pepe Reina, and Szczesny. Milan also have another young, promising goalie on their roster other than Gianluigi Donnarumma, his name is Alessandro Plizzari. Plizzari started for Italy’s U-20 World Cup team earlier this summer in the 3rd place game, a game they won. Time will tell if Milan opt to replace Donnarumma from within their organization or in the transfer market.
Onto the second question; where will Donnarumma go. Milan could decide to keep Donnarumma for another season and let him leave on a free transfer. They could sell him this summer, and Donnarumma would command a large transfer fee. The Italian goalie and his agent may already have their mind made up on where they want to go. The early front runner to sign Donnarumma are Real Madrid. Los Blancos are that mega-team that appeals to Raiola, and he could push Donnarumma that way. Their current goalie, Keylor Navas, is a solid option in net, but does not provide the upside and appeal that Donnarumma does. Earlier this summer, Manchester City signed former Benfica goalie Ederson, another promising, young goalie; so there is no need for Donnarumma. PSG, another wealthy club, have Kevin Trapp, but are not sold on him, so they would love to get their hands on Donnarumma. Barcelona have Ter Stegen, Chelsea have Courtois, and Manchester United have De Gea. However, Manchester United are targeting Real Madrid’s Alvaro Morata. United could look to include De Gea in a deal, therefore creating a vacancy for Donnarumma. So, based on money, appeal, and need; Real Madrid and PSG appear to be the most likely destinations.
A few things to keep in mind. No one player is bigger than a club. Milan will move on from Donnarumma’s decision, revamp their plan, and be just fine. At the same time, one player can be a game changer. Donnarumma is a game changer and he will go change games for a new club soon.