In an exclusive interview with Skrill, Premium Partner of AC Milan, Stefano Pioli commented on Zlatan’s stellar performance at the club and hinted that ‘reinforcements’ will join the squad over the transfer window.
Welcome to our first-ever AC Milan column. In this monthly feature, we’ll be going behind the scenes at the club to bring you AC Milan news, player interviews and never-before-seen photos.
AC Milan manager Stefano Pioli took over at the Rossoneri in October last year and has led the club through a successful season with them finishing sixth in the league.
We asked Pioli about star player Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and his secret to playing at the top level at the age of 38.
Ibrahimovic has played a big part in the club’s recent success and became the oldest Serie A player to score ten goals in a season – scoring in his side’s 3-0 win against Cagliari.
Pioli told Skrill: “Zlatan is a top professional. He teaches young players, he is a touchstone for his teammates and is very respectful of roles. His secret is his desire to win and to always improve.”
Having bagged seven goals in his last ten games, Pioli will be hoping to keep hold of his star striker, whose contract ends this summer.
We also asked the AC Milan boss about goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, whose contract runs out next year.
Donnarumma, who at the age of 21 has become the youngest player in the club’s history to reach 200 caps, captained the side for their final three matches in Serie A in the absence of defender Alessio Romagnoli.
Pioli sees plenty of potential in the youngster, despite already considering him one of the world’s best.
He said: “Donnarumma is extraordinarily talented and wore the captain's armband that belongs to Romagnoli with great personality.
He is one of the world’s strongest goalkeepers and he has extensive room for improvement.”
Pioli suggested his transfer activity in this window will be minimal, with keeping Ibrahimovic and other star players a top priority.
Any signings the club does make will be with the aim of building a side to challenge for a Champions League place in Serie A.
“AC Milan do not need many new additions, we need a few reinforcements but in the right positions,” Pioli said.
“I am sure that the Club will be able to find the right solutions. I am in contact with the CEO Ivan Gazidis, with Paolo Maldini and Frederic Massara. Together we will do our utmost to improve this team.”