Gianluigi Donnarumma will stay at AC Milan for the 2017/18 season and see out the final year of his contract, club CEO Marco Fassone has said.
The 18-year-old, who has been tipped as the heir to Gianluigi Buffon, told AC Milan last week that he would not be renewing his contract with the club and has subsequently been linked with a move away from the San Siro.
The decision has angered fans and the youngster was showered with fake money during Italy’s U21 European Championship opener against Denmark two days ago.
But Mino Raiola, Donnarumma’s agent, has claimed that the youngster was “forced” into the stance by the club, insisting that the matter “has nothing to do with money”.
Speaking in the wake of such a public fallout, Fassone has insisted that the ‘keeper is staying put at AC Milan for now but suggested he would leave on a free transfer next summer.
“I kind of saw it coming,” Fassone told Milan TV. “I can say that this wasn’t a bolt out of the blue because for the past two months we experienced a dichotomy between what Raiola coherently has been telling me every time we talked.
“You’re expecting an answer, but it’s too early for that, we need our time, we need to evaluate the AC Milan project, and what Gigio has been telling me every time we met.
“He told me, ‘I want to stay at AC Milan, I don’t want to leave.’ One aspect leaves a bitter aftertaste: legitimacy should always go together with ethics.
“I appreciate what Mister Li, who is following this situation with me on a daily basis, is making me perceive, we do not need someone to give us handouts, offering €15-20m for Donnarumma. Gigio is worth much more than this. He is worth more regardless of his contract’s duration.
“If he wants to leave, he will be free at the end of the 2017/18 season. Now we will be open to offers for Donnarumma.
“He is staying here, if any club wants him, they will have to pay what he is worth, otherwise Donnarumma will stay here.”