Article

Gattuso tries to shrug off Donnarumma, FFP controversies

16 December 2017 17:14

AC Milan coach Gennaro Gattuso wants to forget about controversies surrounding star goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma and the club's failure to comply with Financial Fair Play regulations.

The teenager was reduced to tears in midweek as Milan fans unveiled a banner slamming him after reports emerged that Donnarumma's agent Mino Raiola had demanded a contract extension signed in July be annulled due to the player being coerced into it.

While that issue overshadowed Wednesday's Coppa Italia win over Hellas Verona, the build-up to a trip to face the same side in Serie A on Sunday has seen UEFA confirm that it has turned down Milan's offer of a "voluntary agreement" to delay punishments under the FFP model.

Milan have won their last two games as Gattuso begins to get his feet under the table at San Siro and he tried to steer focus towards the pitch ahead of their trip to the Bentegodi.

"We need to relax and focus, without talking about Donnarumma or UEFA, because we are a competitive team fighting for something important," he told a news conference.

"Just technique and quality are not enough, you need those little things like the final sprint in the last minute or Suso tracking back to defend. We need determination and grit, as we can misplace a pass, but have to chase it back down straight away."

Milan are set to remain in a 4-3-3 system, with Gattuso having binned the back-three formations used by predecessor Vincenzo Montella.

The former Italy international backed Hakan Calhanoglu to adapt, despite the system robbing him of his favoured number 10 role, and suggested that Fabio Borini could become a key figure.

"Go back and watch him at Bayer Leverkusen, where he was a box-to-box midfielder," Gattuso said of Turkey international Calhanoglu. "He can do it all without problems thanks to his technique and stamina.

"Fabio Borini can also take on any role. If you tell him to be a goalkeeper, he'll pull on the gloves and step right between the posts, because he just doesn't give up. He puts passion and hunger into everything he does."

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