Ronaldo would have joined Milan under current owners - Mirabelli

Massimiliano Mirabelli claims Cristiano Ronaldo was on the brink of signing for AC Milan before the former owners blocked the deal.

Published : Nov 29, 2018 19:14 IST

Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo in action against AC Milan.
Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo in action against AC Milan.

Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo in action against AC Milan.

Cristiano Ronaldo would be an AC Milan player if the incumbent owners had been in charge earlier in the close-season, according to former sporting director Massimiliano Mirabelli.

Five-time Ballon d'Or winner Ronaldo ended an illustrious nine-year stay at Real Madrid when he completed a €112 million switch to reigning Serie A champion Juventus last July.

However, Mirabelli claims the Portugal superstar was ready to complete a move to San Siro until Li Yonghong's ill-fated regime blocked the deal prior to hedge fund Elliott Management assuming control of the club.

READ | Ronaldo an AC Milan target in 2017, confirms Fassone

"It was something we talked about with Jorge Mendes," Mirabelli, who was sacked shortly after the takeover, told Sportitalia.

"We knew there could be problems with Real [and Ronaldo]. We did everything, but then the Chinese owners blocked the deal because it was not sustainable. With the current owners CR7 would have been a Milan player."

Li completed his €740 million purchase of Milan in April 2017 and sacked head coach Vincenzo Montella seven months later.

Mirabelli felt it was the right decision to keep Montella on for the start of the 2017-18 season and revealed discussions were held with Antonio Conte prior to the appointment of Gennaro Gattuso.

"We arrived in April [2017] and finished a complicated season. Montella had done a good job. In my opinion, he deserved another chance to lead Milan again. In hindsight it is easy to say we were wrong, but at that point he deserved to stay," he said.

ALSO READ | Juventus kicked me out to sign Ronaldo – Higuain

"I was proud to have made this choice [appointing Gattuso] because of his professionalism, his seriousness and the love he and his staff put into their work.

"The Chinese owners did not agree because they thought from the outside it would look like a backward step, but I explained that for me Rino was the coach of the future. He has worked in Greece, Serie C and B and for me this is a positive.

"We listened to [Conte], we talked directly. It was a chat that didn't result in anything."

Sign in to unlock all user benefits
  • Get notified on top games and events
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign up / manage to our newsletters with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early bird access to discounts & offers to our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide to our community guidelines for posting your comment