Maldini Defends De Ketelaere, Discusses Talks with Leao

Milan director Paolo Maldini spilled the beans on a few topics in an interview during a sports festival in Trento. The executive described new owner Gerry Cardinale (via Calciomercato).

“He’s an energetic person, and I like him a lot. There will be continuity with Elliott, which made the club healthier financially speaking. We’ll look to reach increasingly better objectives now. We’ll never operate beyond our economic limitations.”

The legend backed Charles De Ketelaere amid a slow start.

“The transfer market is dynamic. We tried signing Sven Botman first, but we would have used up our budget. At this point, we must not add middle-of-the-road players but rather high-ceiling ones, and he fits the bill. He needs time, even though fans and newspapers aren’t patient. We shouldn’t forget Michel Platini didn’t do well for six months and then won everything with Juventus. He’s too young to shoulder many responsibilities in a team like ours, and we have to give him the right balance. We don’t have any doubts about him.”

Maldini is confident Milan will be able to hold on to Rafael Leao.

“He’s in a difficult situation because of how his previous transfer to Lille went down. It’s affecting him, and we had to talk with multiple intermediaries. He’s grateful to us, and that’s what matters. He understands it would be better to continue with us. There’ll be a negotiation, and top contributors must be properly compensated. I think we have good chances of striking a deal. We want to keep our stars, and we don’t need to sell, but untouchable players no longer exist nowadays. I told some teams not to even bid for him or Theo Hernandez.”

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