Maldini and Massara departures: AC Milan stars react to Rossoneri upheaval

The fallout from Paolo Maldini and Frederic Massara's exits from AC Milan could be very severe with a number of important players thought to be angered by the decision.

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The fallout has already begun from the sacking of AC Milan directors Paolo Maldini and Ricky Massara by RedBird Capital, with some of the side’s most influential players like Rafael Leao reacting to the news that the men crucial to bringing them to the club are leaving.

Although the Rossoneri qualified for the Champions League group stages for the third consecutive season, they lost their Serie A crown to Napoli and after a meeting with RedBird owner Gerry Cardinale at a hotel in Corso Venezia, it has been reported by La Repubblica that it was Cardinale who decided to end their involvement at the club.

According to TMW, managing director Giorgio Furlani and chief scout Geoffrey Moncada will be handed more power in the short-term, while Milan seek replacements. Coach Stefano Pioli may also play a bigger role in transfer activity, with Maldini and Massara having already started negotiations with Daichi Kamada of Eintracht Frankfurt and Chelsea’s Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

AC Milan’s Rafael Leao. [@acmilan]

Could Leao now leave AC Milan?

After playing a major role in bringing Rafael Leao to Milan, Maldini had also played an influential part in the Portuguese attacker signing a recent contract extension until 2028. The 23-year-old was one of the first to react on Twitter after the news broke by posting a solitary thinking face emoji, clearly showing his confusion at the situation.

The ambiguous post prompted plenty of reaction from fans of some of the biggest teams across Europe, seeing it as a sign that the youngster may now consider his future at the Stadio San Siro and began pleading for him to join their club this summer, and the Rossoneri supporters appeared to interpret it in the same way and reacted with pleas for him to remain in Italy.

AC Milan players disappointed with Maldini departure

With Maldini taking many of the Rossoneri title winners from the fringes of other clubs and igniting their careers, Calciomercato have reported that several are angry at the decision to remove the 54-year-old. This is the case for Theo Hernandez, who was on the verge of joining Bayer Leverkusen before the former Italian international convinced him that Milan was a better option.

Goalkeeper Mike Maignan has become one of the best in Europe since being chosen to replace youth prodigy Gianluigi Donnarumma in 2021 and had acknowledged the role the 54-year-old had in identifying his talent. Midfielder Sandro Tonali had pictures of the legendary former captain on his bedroom wall, and his presence in negotiations helped secure his arrival, so he is thought to be upset at the recent developments.

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