AC Milan say they “know where the evil comes from” as they show support to Gianluigi Donnarumma, who was left in tears by abusive fan amidst reports that he wants to leave.
Donnarumma, 18, had looked likely to leave Milan after turning down a new deal in June, but then extended his contract until 2021.
However, a number of papers published the story that the Italian wanted the deal he agreed in July cancelled, as it was signed under “psychological pressure”.
In response, fans unfurled a banner during the Coppa Italia win over Verona on Wednesday saying they had “lost patience”.
AC Milan sporting director Massimiliano Mirabelli said they will protect Donnarumma, but that there is “someone who is damaging our image”, adding that the club have not met Donnarumma’s agent, Mino Raiola and there was “nothing else to say”
“I think that one day he [Donnarumma] will realise what’s good and bad,” said Mirabelli, who asked fans to “whistle our opponents, not our players.”
“Gigio has never said he wants to leave. There’s someone who is trying to organise something deliberately, but we will look out for Milan’s interests in every arena.”
“Gigio is very young. It’s not entirely his fault. We’ll always protect him, he’s our asset. We know where the evil comes from, we hope to solve this issue over the next few months.”
Club coach Gennaro Gattuso had also backed his player, adding: “He’s not how some people depict him. His team-mates are backing him too, he’s a very humble guy.”
Donnarumma had broke into the first team in AC Milan as a 16-year-old teenager, and have since featured more than 80 times in Serie A for the team and won four caps for Italy.