When the dust settles after the battle between Dean Henderson and David de Gea over Manchester United’s goalkeeping gloves, the winner could find that he will be having to compete all over again with Gigio Donnarumma.
The AC Milan star, widely considered at 22 to be one of the best keepers in the world, has reached an impasse with his current club over a contract extension and could be set to leave for free in the forthcoming window.
‘Thirty days. Milan, albeit not in writing, have given an ultimatum to Gigio Donnarumma and above all to his agent Mino Raiola: by the end of the [Serie A] championship on 23 May, the goalkeeper and his agent must give a definitive answer to the renewal proposal contract sent some time ago,’ Tuttosport explains.
‘The Rossoneri do not want to wait any longer. At the end of the championship Donnarumma will join the national side for the European Championships and certainly will not have the time and mind to negotiate.
‘At the same time, Milan will have to begin to concretely set up for next season and decide at that point whether to go for Mike Maignan, the 25 year old goalkeeper from Lille.
‘After several phone calls and video conferences with Raiola, AC Milan put €8 million [£7m – £135k per week] on the table for 5 years.
‘[This] would allow Donnarumma to be both the highest paid footballer in Milan and the Italian with the highest salary in Serie A.’
Tuttosport claims that Raiola has cocked a snook at Milan’s offer and has not even responded to it. The former pizza chef is reported to be demanding €12 million (£200k per week), although could settle for £168k per week, an amount that ‘he could receive – or has already been offered? – from some clubs around Europe.’
‘The club, however, has made its offer and will not move from there, there will be no upward auctions,’ Tuttosport continues.
‘Donnarumma has always made it clear that he wants to stay at Milan, but in practice he has not yet forced his hand with Raiola to accept the club’s proposal.’
Dealing with Raiola yet again is unlikely to be something that United will want to do after the circus created around Paul Pogba and Erling Haaland. On the other hand, a free transfer of one of the best keepers in the world for a contract less than half the value of De Gea’s could be seen as a no-brainer for any club worth its salt.