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Gazidis: 'Why Ibra turned down Milan's offer in 2019'

Sun 27 December 2020 | 11:15

Milan CEO reveals why Ibrahimovic refused to join Milan last year

Ivan Gazidis shows why Ibra turned down an offer from Milan in 2019 and discusses the future of Gigio Donnarumma and Hakan Calhanoglu.

"

Paolo [Maldini] represents the history of the club, but that's not the reason why I believe in him. He is a person who looks forward, he is open to learning new things. He is humble and smart, it's something I immediately noticed. He is a point of reference

," Gazidis said.

"[Stefano] Pioli arrived in a complicated moment and the challenge was complicated too. What impressed me is that he does things in a simple way, it makes everything look easy, even when it's not.

"When we realized that he could realise our vision, going forward with him was the most normal thing. I really appreciate the way he works and how he behaves off the pitch. The style is important."

Is Milan looking to sign new players in the winter transfer window?

"This team is a delicate organism, with many ingredients, there is a magical balance to be preserved. Choices must be coherent. For example, there are personalities that emerge, like [Pierre] Kalulu. He was ready to play because he had worked hard. You have to pick up the right people and not sign someone just to do it. Maldini is sensitive and intelligent, so he knows how to keep this balance."

How about Ibrahimovic's future?

"We haven't spoken about his contract extension yet. It's not going to be the club's decision only, but also his decision. He is a special person with extraordinary qualities and great intelligence. This combination gives him great strength in everything he does. We had already tried to sign him January 2019, but he told us no because the story with the Galaxy was not over. Ibra makes the group improve because he challenges everybody to give more, and this challenge is accepted by each one of the players."

Will Donnarumma and Calhanoglu leave the team?

"Talks are going on, there are no doubts aboure their professionalism and that's important. I feel a very positive environment, but I'd like to say something.

"Our story belongs to the collective, not the single player. When the players sing 'Pioli is on fire', they are not only singing for Pioli, they think about the collective. Everyone helps each other, when someone makes a mistake, the others are ready to help. That's the secret of this team. You often talk about Ibra, that's fine, but he's giving something more to the team because the team has given something more to him."

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