Former RB Leipzig manager and sporting director Ralf Rangnick has revealed that it makes little sense to him that AC Milan want to keep Zlatan Ibrahimovic beyond the 2019/20 season. The Swedish striker signed for the Rossoneri in the January window and has thrived in his second spell with the club.
Few expected anything to happen when Zlatan Ibrahimovic signed for AC Milan in the January transfer window with the Rossoneri struggling to cope in the Serie A. However, the Swedish superstar proved to be the right move on AC Milan’s part as he rejuvenated the struggling side with eleven goals. That includes seven goals in ten games after the restart as they ended the 2019/20 season on a 13-match unbeaten streak
That has seen Milan offer the former Manchester United and Barcelona striker a one-year extension despite concerns from outside the club. It has seen Ralf Rangnick admit that to him, re-signing Ibrahimovic makes no sense as the Rossoneri should look towards building their team around younger players. The German was also heavily linked with a move to Milan before the club took a U-turn and admitted that the club were looking for a change of direction.
"What you should be asking is: why did Milan turn to me? What did they want to do? Maybe they were looking for a change of direction. It's not my style to focus on a 38-year-old player, not because of talent, but because I prefer to create value and develop talent. It made little sense to me the idea of relying on Ibrahimovic or [defender] Simon Kjaer, but that's just my way of seeing things, it's not necessarily right or wrong. When Ibra said he didn't know me, he wasn't wrong. I've never met him," Rangnick admitted, reported Goal.
The German manager/sporting director was heavily linked with a move to Milan and reports even revealed that Rangnick and Milan had come to an agreement. However, the club changed their mind and opted to given Stefano Pioli a chance instead and Rangnick admitted that Pioli deserved the chance to keep his job. The German also added that he was contacted by AC Milan in October but never signed any deal or contract with the club.
"I was first contacted [by Milan] at the end of October, when the team was three points off the relegation zone. I never talked about it in public. I do want to make it clear that I never signed a contract or had a clause. Up until three weeks ago, I was tied to Red Bull. As for Milan, they were the best team post-coronavirus lockdown, so changing would not have been wise or respectful.
"Pioli deserved to keep his job and I appreciated the kind of person he is, as in interviews he was always focused on objectives. Whether this is the right decision for Milan in the medium and long term is another matter,” he added.