Mirabelli: ‘Believe in Gattuso’

Former Milan director Massimiliano Mirabelli feels vindicated in picking Gennaro Gattuso and reveals failed negotiations for Lazio stars Ciro Immobile and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.

The ex-director of sport is the man who pushed hard for Gattuso to be promoted from the Primavera youth team job in November 2017 when Vincenzo Montella was sacked.

“I am convinced this young Milan will go far over the next few years,” Mirabelli told RMC Sport radio.

“We ran into some obstacles that were not simple to overcome, but we laid some solid foundations for an important future.

“When I chose Gattuso, I was basically gambling with my own future too. I could’ve chosen anyone, there were no budget limitations, but I always thought Gattuso was the only one capable of taking that Milan in hand. I believed in him straight away.

“People are learning that Rino isn’t just about grit. He has character, but also knows what he’s talking about, is smart, innovative and worked his way through the ranks at lower levels.

“I am sure that this Milan will qualify for the Champions League and win the Copa Italia.”

Mirabelli, who was in charge of negotiating transfers under the Yonghong Li era, also revealed some of the deals that didn’t quite go through.

“Anyone who knows Lazio and Claudio Lotito is well aware they’re tough to negotiate with. Their demands for Immobile and Milinkovic-Savic were beyond the limits of not just Milan, but all Italian clubs.

“Franck Kessie had already agreed terms with Roma, but we were facilitated by the history and prestige of Milan.”

Currently out of work but still appearing in various stadiums to watch teams play, Mirabelli has been linked with the Roma job should Monchi leave this summer.

“I am looking around, both in Italy and abroad, waiting for a project that will let me enjoy the fruits of my labour.”