AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma is being linked with a move to the Premier League this summer, and if true, the Rossoneri would be making a huge error in letting him leave.
As reported by The Daily Mail, Chelsea have now joined the race to sign the 17-year-old, with suggestions that the Rossoneri could be willing to part company with him if they receive big-money offers.
Having displaced Diego Lopez as the number one choice between the posts this season, Donnarumma has shown maturity beyond his young years and is rated highly by teammates and rivals alike.
With a bright future ahead of him for both club and country, it is no surprise that he is being courted by the top clubs in Europe, but Milan must refuse to sell under any circumstances.
The Italian giants have struggled to get back into the Champions League in recent seasons, with a lack of quality in their squad and constant managerial changes part of the issue.
However, their biggest problem has been the lack of vision, direction and ability to build a project from the hierarchy, and that comes as a result of limited finances, particularly compared to their European rivals.
If Milan harbour ambitions of getting back to the top in Serie A and in Europe, then they must believe and retain their youngsters.
They are not in a position to compete in the transfer market with the big clubs, despite their spending last summer on the likes of Carlos Bacca and Luiz Adriano. In turn, they will have to rely on developing young players, and that has worked well for Sinisa Mihajlovic for the most part this year.
Donnarumma, Alessio Romagnoli and Giacomo Bonaventura have all emerged as the core of the current team, and all play into President Silvio Berlusconi’s vision of having a young Italian squad at the San Siro.
Breaking that up at this stage will continue to set a bad precedent for the Rossoneri, who have developed a habit of selling their most prized assets from Kaka to Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic in 2009 and 2012 respectively.
Such is his talent and given his age, Donnarumma will continue to develop into one of the best shot-stoppers in Europe in the coming years. As a result, Milan can’t afford to cash in, when they should be looking at building around him and making him an integral part of their plans.
Based on the above, it is obvious why Chelsea and Manchester United are keen on signing him. However, despite all the speculation and talk of a possible deal this summer, it is unlikely that Milan will risk infuriating their supporters by parting with another promising talent.