AC Milan captain Massimo Ambrosini leapt to the defence of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, arguing that while the Swede does not always get his point across in the best possible way, he remains a good man.
It was recently reported that Rossoneri boss Massimiliano Allegri wants to get rid of the Sweden international as he has allegedly become a divisive influence in the dressing room, while the forward is also said to have angered owner Silvio Berlusconi and CEO Adriano Galliani by claiming the club have financial problems.
However, Ambrosini insists that Ibrahimovic is still revered and respected with equal measure by both Milan's players and directors.
"I hold Ibra in high esteem and I have a lot of affection for him because he’s a winner and a good man," the veteran midfielder told Il Corriere dello Sport.
"His ways are not always the best but he does stimulate himself and his team-mates."
Meanwhile, there has been speculation that Ibrahimovic could be sold along with star centre-back Thiago Silva this summer in order to raise funds for a dramatic overhaul of the Rossoneri squad.
Milan legend Paolo Maldini claimed earlier in May that losing both players would be a disaster but while Ambrosini does not agree, he does admit that the club have reached a pivotal moment in their history.
"In the recent past, the team was forced to let go of two Ballon d’Or winners in Kaka and [Andriy] Shevchenko but the team was still able to keep winning," he reasoned.
"Milan have come to a fundamental turning point; the most important one that I can remember. It’s the biggest change since I’ve been at the club, really massive.
"But come July 9, I’ll be prouder than ever to walk into the changing room as captain. We can win or we can lose but we know how to rejoice and to move people. We are Milan, with the pride and the desire that sets us apart."
Milan finished second to Juventus in Serie A last season and were knocked out of the Champions League at the quarter-final stage by Barcelona.