Former Arsenal chief and current AC Milan CEO Ivan Gazidis has bid farewell to Gianluigi Donnarumma as the Italian moves closer to leaving the San Siro as a free agent.
The Italian, still only 22, will soon join a new club. He has been linked with a whole host of sides already, and Arsenal were the latest team to have reportedly expressed an interest in signing him for free in the coming weeks.
Tuttosport revealed earlier this week that the Gunners are battling fellow Premier League sides Chelsea and Tottenham for his signature, and Gazidis has now heaped praise on the ‘exceptional’ goalkeeper’s professionalism, despite the fact that he rejected every offer that Milan put in front of him.
Gazidis: Donnarumma is an exceptional professional
He told Corriere dello Sport: “I don’t want to reveal the details, nor the timing, and I don’t know the boundaries of the relationship between Gigio and (Mino) Raiola. In the end, of course, the decision is always the player’s.
“What I can say is that Gigio was an exceptional professional, every single day, and in the last match against Atalanta, there was no one happier than him for qualifying for the Champions League.
“I have absolute esteem for him, as well as respect his choices. No negativity. He did what he thought was best for him, and there are a few reasons on his side, but I don’t say which ones.”
The Insider’s View:
A disciplinarian like Mikel Arteta will surely be tempted to sign a player who is ‘an exceptional professional’. However, our lack of Champions League football and Raiola’s potential demands will surely complicate things.
Bernd Leno’s future has been up in the air as the German enters the final two years of his contract. There’s a feeling that if a decent bid comes in, Arsenal will sell him, which will then open a spot in goal.
We will then have to bring in a top-quality shot-stopper to replace Leno and Donnorumma would be a sensational signing. However, it is highly unlikely, even though he is a free agent.