Milan Chief Reveals Extension Talks with Three Star Players

Milan chief executive Paolo Maldini insists the Rossoneri are working around the clock to tie three indispensable first-team stars down to new deals. During an interview with Calciomercato, the San Siro technical director delivered an update on the club’s efforts to sign contract extensions with Theo Hernandez, Ismael Bennacer and Rafael Leao.

According to Maldini, negotiations between Milan and the representatives of Hernandez and Bennacer are in ‘advanced stages.’ Per the former defender, last season’s Serie A runners-up are also discussing Leao’s future with super-agent Jorge Mendes following the forward’s rise to stardom in Lombardy.

We are at an advanced stage with Theo’s negotiations and those of Ismael, while we are talking with Rafa Leao,” Maldini told Calciomercato. “The intention is to renew all three of their contracts very soon. 

Naturally, these are players who are still young and we believe can continue to give Milan a great deal in the future.

All three players have been increasingly vital to Stefano Pioli’s set-up over the past couple of years. However, their contracts are set to expire in summer 2024, forcing Milan to accelerate extension talks to avoid experiencing Gianluigi Donnarumma and Hakan Calhanoglu scenarios all over again. 

Hernandez has established himself as one of Europe’s finest left-backs since swapping Real Madrid for Serie A in 2019. His top-class showings for Milan have earned him plenty of admirers, but the Rossoneri have no intention of giving up his services. 

The same goes for Bennacer and Leao. While the former developed into one of Serie A’s best defensive midfielders before a series of injury setbacks hindered his progress this term, the latter has been one of Milan’s most prolific forwards this season despite several injuries.

Meanwhile, Milan are likely to lose another significant first-team star on a free transfer at the end of the season. Franck Kessie’s departure looks almost inevitable, with Real Madrid reportedly leading the race for his signature.