Manchester City is reportedly leading the race to sign AC Milan’s teenage goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma. The Citizens also face competition for the 17-year-old stopper from Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus, and Chelsea.
AC Milan is reportedly ready to hand Manchester City target Gianluigi Donnarumma a new long-term contract worth £42.5 million to see off interest in the goalkeeper. Elsewhere, the Citizens will have to face a host of Serie A giants to land veteran Pepe.
According to Italian newspaper Corriere Dello Sport, the Rossoneri are aiming to tie down Donnarumma with a bumper deal worth an astronomical £42.5 million.
Machester City has been seen as one of the parties interested in the 17-year-old after seeing summer signing and current No. 1 Claudio Bravo struggled to impress during his short stay at the Etihad Stadium thus far.
Donnarumma saved a spot-kick in Milan’s penalty-shootout victory over Juventus in the Supercoppa Italiana last Friday.
So it’s little wonder that City might look to the Italian as a potential upgrade over Bravo, who has drawn major criticism since joining from Barcelona for a fee of £13.75 million, per the Guardian‘s Jamie Jackson.
Completing a move for Donnarumma could be tough, however, as Milan will likely prioritize one of their biggest rising assets, and the stopper seems loyal to the Rossoneri. He spoke to Milan TV after last Friday’s trophy triumph:
“It’s a deserved win. It’s a victory for teamwork. We did really well. Now it’s time to celebrate. We always believed we could do it, even when we were one goal down in the first half. We didn’t start that well but we bounced back and went close to taking it home in regular time.
This win is for my family, for my girlfriend and for all the red and black fans, including President Berlusconi.”
Donnarumma has impressed consistently during his first full season in Serie A, while Bravo has struggled to adapt to life at the Etihad. While the Chile No. 1 can’t be blamed for all City’s defensive mistakes, he’s at least partly responsible for the club’s ability to keep only four Premier League clean sheets this season.
Meanwhile, his Milan counterpart continues to go from strength to strength at the opposite end of his career and drew major praise from fans following his recent display against Juventus.
Elsewhere, Spanish outlet OK Diario reported City are one of the major clubs interested in Real Madrid defender Pepe, along with Tottenham Hotspur, Juventus, Inter Milan, AC Milan and a few others.
The 6’2″ centre-back will turn 34 in February and has a contract that’s set to expire at the end of the campaign, but Yahoo’s Andrew Gaffney suggested Pepe is still a valuable asset, even in his old age:
Manchester City’s inability to maintain their previously high defensive standards this season has in part been attributed to the injury absence of captain Vincent Kompany, while summer signing John Stones has also disappointed at times.
Pepe could go a long way toward providing some much-needed experience and backbone at the Etihad, although it’s unclear if the English giants would offer the Portugal international the long-term deal he’s seeking.