AC Milan insist Gianluigi Donnarumma to stay 'for a long time' amid Pepe Reina links
AC Milan's sporting director, Massimiliano Mirabelli, says his club intend to keep hold of Gianluigi Donnarumma for many more years in spite of reports that Pepe Reina will arrive from Napoli in the summer.
Donnarumma signed a four-year contract with Milan last summer, but rumours are abound that he will be sold this summer should they fail to qualify for the Champions League next season.
Thursday night's defeat to Arsenal in the Europa League means Milan can only now qualify for the Champions League via Serie A, but Mirabelli reassured Milan's fans afterward that the sale of their No. 1 goalkeeper is not up for discussion.
"Apart from his mistake, he played a great game tonight," Mirabelli told reporters, including Sky Sport Italia. "We want him to stay with us for a long time. He's a gem of ours and the whole of Italy and we're keeping a tight grip on him."
Milan are expected to sign Reina on a free transfer in the summer, with the Napoli keeper reported to have already undergone a medical.
His arrival has raised speculation about Donnarumma's future, especially with Milan facing financial uncertainty should they fail to qualify for the Champions League next season. That could force them to sell him to balance the books, but Milan's general manager, Marco Fassone, insisted the situation is not as dramatic as it is being made out to be.
"There will be a refinancing and there a few offers on the table," Fassone told Sky. "Our relationships with [club owner] Li Yonghong are excellent, as they are also with Elliott [Management]. We're very serene about the future of the club and I'm relatively optimistic.
"I don't think there will be an extension to the deadline with Elliott [to pay off a loan taken out to finance last April's takeover]. There will be sufficient elements to ensure a good future for Milan. [UEFA] want reassurances over the club's continuity [for FFP] and I'm convinced I have hold of everything needed to reassure them -- they've got nothing to fear.
"And I'm also convinced that, if needed, Elliott would back me up."
Milan trail fourth-placed Lazio by six points, although they have a game in hand over the side currently occupying Serie A's final qualifying berth for next year's Champions League.
Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.