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MUTINY IN MILAN: Chelsea target Mike Maignan, star left back Theo Hernandez and midfielder Sandro Tonali ‘are all fuming at Paolo Maldini facing the sack and eyeing an exit’ after Rafael Leao went public with his shock at the news
- Maldini has reportedly been sacked along with director of football Ricky Massara
- The pair are believed to have had a tense meeting with owner Gerry Cardinale
- Several key players have been left unhappy with the decision to sack the duo
A number of senior AC Milan players have been left unhappy with the decision to sack directors Paolo Maldini and Ricky Massara, according to reports in Italy.
Milan icon Maldini, who had spent four years as the club’s technical director, was dismissed on Monday along with director of football Massara following a tense meeting with owner Gerry Cardinale.
The pair met Cardinale to discuss plans for next season following the conclusion of their Serie A campaign on Sunday, however the meeting did not go well, with both parties unable to agree on how to take the club forward during tense discussions
As a result, Maldini and Massara have now been relieved of their duties, according to Calciomercato.
And the decision to part company with them is understood to have sparked concerns in the dressing room.
Several AC Milan players have been left unhappy with the sacking of Paolo Maldini (pictured)
Maldini and director of football Ricky Massara (left) have reportedly been sacked by Milan
The likes of Theo Hernandez (left) and Mike Maignan (right) are not happy with the decision
La Repubblica are reporting that goalkeeper Mike Maignan and defender Theo Hernandez are among the Milan players disappointed by Maldini and Massara’s exits and are now weighing up whether to leave this summer.
Maignan, who has spent the last two years at the San Siro after arriving from Lille, has been linked with a move to Chelsea in recent months as the Blues step up their search for a shot-stopper to replace current No 1 Kepa Arrizabalaga.
The 27-year-old is under contract until 2026, though his future with Milan is now understood to be in doubt.
As for Hernandez, the France left-back has spent four years with Milan after arriving from Real Madrid in 2019, making 167 appearances for the club while winning the Serie A title in 2021-22.
He too has another three years remaining on his contract, but the firing of Maldini and Massara is also said to have left him contemplating his future.
According to Italian journalist Daniele Longo, midfielder Sandro Tonali is another Milan player who hasn’t taken Maldini’s exit well given he has always idolised the legendary defender and had posters of him on his wall as a child.
In a dramatic 24 hours for Milan, veteran striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic also announced his retirement from football on Sunday.
Midfielder Sandro Tonali is another player disappointed to see Maldini depart the San Siro
Rafael Leao posted a puzzled face emoji to suggest he is unhappy with Maldini’s exit
It is believed Cardinale did not bid farewell to Ibrahimovic despite his service to the club across two separate spells, with the owner avoiding a visit to their Milanello training complex on Monday.
Milan were able to convince star striker Rafael Leao to sign a new long-term contract last week, but the Portuguese star may already be having a re-think about his future after Maldini and Massara’s dismissals.
Leao posted a puzzled face emoji on Twitter on Monday night, suggesting that he is not happy with the club’s decision to let Maldini go.