Maldini Accuses Media of ‘Inventing Names’, Warns ‘Unhappy’ Shevchenko

Milan technical director Paolo Maldini has disclosed that it is not yet certain whether the Rossoneri will sign a new defender between now and the end of the season, due to the ‘solidity and reliability’ of the reserve defenders in the club’s ranks.

Maldini, who now heads executive functions at Milan, has long been quizzed regarding the club’s stance on onboarding a talented defender.

Speaking to SportMediaset (via MilanNews) before the Rossoneri’s 3-1 victory over Andriy Shevchenko’s Genoa in the Coppa Italia, the legendary left-back accused the media of inventing names and suggested that the backroom staff are working in the shadows to find the right reinforcement for the backline – mainly to replace Simon Kjaer’s absence due to a knee injury.

Many defenders across Europe have been heavily linked with a move to Milan, some of the names being Sven Botman, Abdou Diallo, Malang Sarr, Eric Bailly and Nathan Ake, among several others.

However, Maldini said that too many names have been brought up out of thin air.

“Too many names are really invented. We try to do things with the lights off because it is our way of being and our way of working. In this beginning of the championship we have seen the solidity and reliability of our defenders of reserve so it is not certain that another player will arrive between now and the end of the season,” he revealed.

Milan cruised to a 3-1 win over Genoa, although the Ligurians put in a spirited display after taking the lead early in the first-half, before Olivier Giroud leveled scores 15 minutes before full-time. Rafael Leao and Alexis Saelemaekers then scored on either side of extra time to help the Rossoneri progress through to the quarter-finals.

The loss dictates the possible departure of Milan legend Shevchenko from the Genoa dugout. He took charge of the Rossoblu in November and after just two months and 11 games into his tenure, his win percentage of 9% has seen Genoa slump further down the Serie A relegation zone.

Maldini spoke about his former teammates’ hapless situation and divulged that he doesn’t see Shevchenko happy.

“The choice was risky, he knew. Not being inside, I can’t comment on the situation, I certainly didn’t see him happy but those who do this job know the risks of this job. Both players and coaches do this job with their hearts, then there are difficult times when you have to cling to something “

Milan welcome Spezia at the San Siro next, whereas Genoa travel to Florence to face Fiorentina at the Stadio Artemio Franchi.