AC Milan sporting director Massimiliano Mirabelli has told Mediaset his side are interested in Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata but will sign him “only on our conditions.”
Milan have made nine signings already this summer — with Juventus centre-back Leonardo Bonucci soon to become the 10th — but they remain determined to strengthen their attack.
Milan general manager Marco Fassone confirmed at the weekend that Morata, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Andrea Belotti were on their shortlist, and the Madrid man now appears to be the frontrunner, with La Gazzetta dello Sport reporting that they are “on the verge” of sealing a deal.
“We’ve been after him right from the start,” Mirabelli said.
Milan appeared to have lost out to Manchester United in the race for Morata, but Jose Mourinho has said Madrid’s price tag was too high and the English side instead moved for Romelu Lukaku.
Mirabelli said Morata was initially “very open” to joining Milan but added: “Then there were some complications that emerged between the final of the Champions League and when other clubs who were interested arrived so it all cooled down.
“It could heat up again, though, but only on our conditions.”
Milan have already agreed one of the most impressive signings of the summer after securing a deal for Italy international Bonucci from Juventus.
“It all happened so quickly [with Bonucci],” Mirabelli said. “We still haven’t realised it. We said ‘either we do it straight away, or we don’t do it.’ Along with [Sergio] Ramos, he is one of the best central defenders in the world, technically and in terms of his character.
“Over the years, he’s learned what it takes to win. He’s a really important signing in all aspects. Getting him from Juve wasn’t easy, but we’ve sent out a big signal. I can’t find the words to explain what it means.”
Milan also persuaded goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma to commit to a new contract after he had initially indicated that he would move on.
“From the first day, getting Donnarumma to sign was our mission impossible,” he said. “We inherited a player whose contract was up for renewal and the old management, who had been excellent at renewing contracts, had not succeeded so when we arrived, our chances were somewhere close to zero.
“Yet we struck an agreement. We worked with Gigio’s willingness, and that of his family. They desperately wanted [to stay at] Milan, so that was the simple key to it all.”
Mirabelli still has some work to do this summer, though, with even more targets being monitored, including Bayern Munich midfielder Renato Sanches.
“I’ve known him since he was a Benfica player,” Mirabelli said. “He’s not had much of a chance at Bayern and if we find it necessary to get another midfielder, we could evaluate it if certain conditions are met. Maybe we will also sign a wide forward. The transfer market is still open for a long time.”
Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.