The Gianluigi Donnarumma speculation has shifted from whether he will leave AC Milan to now where he will go once he leaves AC Milan. We know this because Milan director Paolo Maldini announced Wednesday that Donnarumma, who has been in a contract dispute with the club for months, will be leaving the red side of the San Siro on a free transfer this summer. (Even though we know it won’t be free free considering who’s calling the shots.)
That means a young and talented goalkeeper is suddenly on the market.
That also means a decision has to be made — and it just so happens that Donnarumma could very well be making it very, very soon.
According to La Gazzetta dello Sport’s Nico Schira, Donnarumma will decide on which club he will head to before Italy’s campaign at this summer’s European Championship get underway next month. Reports out of Italy suggest that it’s essentially down to two teams that are trying to secure Donnarumma’s signature: Juventus and Barcelona, with both clubs putting forward contracts that comes close to what the young goalkeeper has been asking for all along.
Donnarumma’s demands — or at least that of his agent Mino Raiola — remain the same: an eight-figure contract, which is something that Juventus has reportedly put on the table as part of a five-year deal to bring the 22-year-old goalkeeper to Turin.
Gigio #Donnarumma is set to decide his new club within 7-8 days and before Euro2020. #Juventus and #Barça are in race to sign the goalkeeper as a free agent. Juve offered 5-years contract (€10M/year), but #Barcelona are ready to match the bid. #transfers #FCB https://t.co/3txIsjFUc9— Nicolò Schira (@NicoSchira) May 26, 2021
The fact that Barcelona has joined the party is an interesting twist to what has become quite the transfer saga for a goalkeeper who has been rumored to be leaving Milan for what feels like the last couple of years at the very least. Both suitors have goalkeepers who are well-established names and would be of the desire of plenty of clubs around Europe in a normal transfer window. Yet, this is obviously not a normal transfer window.
But, if you’re Juventus and you’re much-maligned chief football officer just announced he’s heading out in a couple of weeks, you have to be pretty confident that you can sell Wojciech Szczesny for a good price if you’re offering that kind of money over that length of a contract to Donnarumma in this current footballing economy.
We can debate all day and all night about which goalkeeper makes sense for Juventus right now, but you gotta think that Szczesny is feeling a little bit (or a lot) like Andrea Pirlo right now: he’s the current dude at his position and his club is out there very much entertaining the idea of replacing you right in front of you and everybody else. Good times, huh?