Speaking to Bein Sports, Milan director Paolo Maldini discussed the contract situation of several of the club’s players. The former defender notably discussed the in-form Swedish veteran Zlatan Ibrahimović, whose goals and presence have been a key factor in seeing the Rossoneri top of the table at the midpoint of the season.
The striker’s contract is up this summer, but all signs are pointing to the 39-year-old renewing for an extra year, with his 14 league goals – only second behind Cristiano Ronaldo – indicating he is showing no signs of decline just yet.
Maldini also discussed the contract situations of goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma and midfielder Hakan Çalhanoğlu, both of whom will also see their time at Milan end at the end of the season as it stands.
“We’re one of the youngest teams in Europe, and we need a leader like Ibrahimović. We’d already tried to sign him back in 2018, but at the time he was playing for Los Angeles Galaxy. It terms of a renewal he’s always told us it would depend on his physical condition, but if he carries on like this I don’t see why he wouldn’t be playing next year at Milan as well.”
[On Donnarumma and Çalhanoğlu] “I always say that the renew a contract both sides have to be happy, but the wait in these cases is normal and we’re working towards the extensions. The players are 100% professional and are only thinking about what’s happening on the pitch, hopefully we’ll reach an agreement soon.”
The Swede returned to the Rossoneri, with whom he won the Scudetto in 2011 after winning three titles with Inter, in January of last year and has had an instant impact at the age of 39, recently hitting the 500-goal mark in last weekend’s 4-0 victory over Crotone. Although the forward missed a chunk of the season through injury, sitting out long spells in November and December, he is Milan’s top scorer and is leading the line as Pioli’s men look to dethrone Andrea Pirlo’s Juventus from their 9-year reign as Serie A champions.