Having led the race for a first Serie A trophy in more than a decade during the first half of the campaign, Stefano Pioli’s side now risks missing out in the top-four entirely, with Paolo now insisting that negotiations will be held to ensure that the focus is solely on securing a Champions League finish.

No one outside Milan can decide who is playing and who renews

AC Milan technical director Paolo Maldini has expressed that the club will pause negotiations on deal extensions with all players until the end of the season. The announcement comes amid reports that club supporters pressured Gianluigi Donnarumma to stand down ahead of their match with Juventus next week. Having led the race for a first Serie A trophy in more than a decade during the first half of the campaign, Stefano Pioli’s side now risks missing out in the top-four entirely, with Paolo now insisting that negotiations will be held to ensure that the focus is solely on securing a Champions League finish. “It is important to firmly affirm that no one outside Milan can decide who is playing and who renews,” the 52-year-old told reporters. “Choices regarding the field are down to the coach, while the club is in charge of contractual issues.”

The club ultras faced Donnarumma to tell him to rule himself out of the meeting

“From this moment, all negotiations on a new contract extension have been put on hold until the end of the current campaign so that the team can focus on the field. Meantime, we will continue to protect our players as we have always done.” Gianluigi, who has established himself as the club’s first-choice keeper since the 2016-17 season, has spent his entire career at San Siro. However, with his contract to expire at the end of the current term, he is yet to negotiate a new deal amid speculation that he could move to Juventus. With the Bianconeri one of Milan’s top rivals for a top-four finish – and with two sides set to square off in seven days – the Rossoneri ultras reportedly faced the keeper ahead of the victory over Benevento to tell him to rule himself out of the meeting.

Donnarumma is believed to have rebuffed their demand and started for the team in victory on Saturday to keep them firmly in the hunt for a spot in Europe’s top competition next season.