Maldini and Massara were fired due to a heavy disagreement with President Cardinale. During the meeting, Maldini emphasized Milan needs more investment to be able to compete with other top clubs in Europe while Cardinale expressed disappointment with the transfer of the Italian duo.
When the conflict deepened and showed no sign of abating, the Milan board decided to sack Maldini and Massara.
The Italian press said this decision angered Milan’s pillars such as Theo Hernandez, Sandro Tonali, and Mike Maignan. Rafael Leao, who just extended his contract until 2028 with Milan a few days ago, posted a thought icon on his personal page. Many sources believe that the stars of Milan are ready to leave when Maldini is no longer in place at the San Siro stadium.
Last season, Maldini disappointed in the transfer business when he spent 35 million euros to buy midfielder Charles De Ketelaere from Club Brugge. However, De Ketelaere did not show much when only 1 goal in Serie A and sat on the bench most of the time in the final period of the season. The contracts Milan intends to buy this summer such as Marko Arnautovic, Ruben Loftus-Cheek are also considered inappropriate and disappointed the club.
The money invested in the transfer of Milan is not much. Despite reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League this season, Milan were only granted 50 million euros in transfer money. In previous seasons, Milan also did not have money to spend on blockbusters. The 35 million euros for De Ketelaere is the profit from attending the Champions League in the last two seasons.
Since the Red Bird corporation took over at the San Siro stadium, Milan has almost gone to the market with an empty bag. Maldini has to make sure that Milan can have a competitive force and return to the Serie A championship after 11 years. Maldini’s own prestige helped Milan much during this time. According to Hernandez, Sandro Tonali and Zlatan Ibrahimovic came to the main San Siro stadium from the direct invitation of the legendary number 3.
Maldini’s sudden departure will therefore certainly have a negative effect on Milan, especially when the “Rossoneri” has just parted ways with spiritual leader Zlatan Ibrahimovic (retired). Maldini’s replacement is likely to be Director of Recruitment Geoffrey Moncada.
In previous seasons, Moncada has seen the talents of Enzo Fernandez, Kvicha Kvaratskhelia and Kolo Muani when all three had a total price of less than 40 million euros. However, Maldini refused. The Italian legend only accepted the Sven Botman plan before being lifted by Newcastle on the Dutch midfielder. At this time, the trio rejected by Maldini is worth no less than 300 million euros.
Many sources in Italy say Milan is moving towards a data-driven style of player selection. Experts Luke Bornn and Billy Beane will arrive at the San Siro. Billy Beane is the prototype of the main character of the famous movie Money Ball when the Boston Red Sox baseball team changed the way of selecting players to be data-driven instead of classical observation.
Milan’s upcoming targets are Marcus Thuram, Youri Tielemans (free transfer) and Reiss Nelson (Arsenal). However, the Milan leadership will have to deal with the morale of the players and the support from the fans. The wave of protests when Maldini was fired is increasing and shows no signs of abating in a short time.
Nhat Anh | 15:00 06/06/2023