Is the flashy Frenchman trying to convince the young Italian to move to Old Trafford this summer?
Manchester United star Paul Pogba has tweeted his support of under-fire AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, saying that the 18-year-old ‘deserves only respect’.
“Donnarumma soon best in the world deserves only respect for all he's done until now #forzaGigi,” Pogba tweeted.
AC Milan on 15 June confirmed the young shot-stopper, who is coveted by all top clubs in Europe, has rejected a contract extension, which prompted their ultra-fans to issue death threats to Donnarumma’s family.
While his agent, Mino Raiola, has repeatedly insisted that the teenager is not chasing money, there have been calls for Donnarumma to be benched by Milan for the next season if a transfer to another club cannot be negotiated, which leaves the player in a potentially-sticky situation.
At the ongoing UEFA U-21 European Championships in Poland, Donnarumma’s goal was showered with fake currency by fans during Italy’s game against Denmark.
Donnarumma is seen by many as the heir to Gianluigi Buffon’s throne as Italy’s No.1 and made his Serie A debut for Milan as a 16-year-old in 2015. Initially behind Diego Lopez and Christian Abbiati in the pecking order, he quickly established himself as the Rossoneri’s first-choice custodian and has never looked back. The teenager then made his senior debut for the national side in September 2016 and has made four appearances since then.
While under normal circumstances, Pogba’s tweet would mean no more than a footballer demanding respect for a fellow professional, Manchester United’s goalkeeping situation complicates matters somewhat.
For United keeper David de Gea is said to be favouring a move to European champions Real Madrid and the Red Devils are reportedly eyeing Donnarumma as a replacement for the Spaniard. And the fact that both Pogba and Donnarumma are managed by ‘super-agent’ Mino Raiola, makes the equation interesting and it would seem the flashy Frenchman is courting the Italian shot-stopper to jump ship to Old Trafford in the summer.