The 18-year old, widely tipped to become the successor to Azzurri goalkeeping icon Gianuigi Buffon, announced on Thursday that he will not be accepting his club’s contract extension offer, news many Rossonneri fans were expecting but were no less disappointed about.
Speaking to Corriere dello Sport, Mirabelli assured fans that the Milan board did all they could to entice the young stopper to remain at the San Siro.
“We wanted to make him a symbol of Milan for our fans and Gigio had everything required to fill that role,” he said.
“He would’ve had the captain’s armband and, frankly, it was an enormous offer, considering his young age and Milan’s situation: €25m net over five years means €50m gross for the club.
“On a human level, we were upset,” the director continued. “Especially as there was no chance for negotiation. It’s not true that on Thursday there was tension with [the player’s agent Mino] Raiola and we argued with him. We both simply took stock of the situation and went our separate ways.
“We are upset, naturally, just as our fans are. And I say that with the utmost respect for Gigio and Raiola: everyone is free to make whatever decision they deem right.
“Now we are looking for a goalkeeper worthy of Milan. Whoever plays for Milan must realise what this jersey means.”