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Maldini: Donnarumma can emulate my Milan success

13:42 GMT+3 21/01/2017
gianluigidonnarumma - cropped
The 17-year-old should snub the interest of clubs so he can establish himself in the hearts of the Rossoneri faithful, says the club legend

AC Milan legend Paolo Maldini thinks Gianluigi Donnarumma can emulate his achievements at the club and stay at San Siro for his entire career.

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Maldini broke into the Milan first team at the age of 17 and went on to spend 25 seasons with the club, winning seven Serie A titles and five Champions Leagues crowns.

The left-back's loyalty earned him a place in the hearts of the Milan fans and he would like to see Donnarumma - who made his debut at 16 - do the same.

Since replacing Diego Lopez between the posts, Donnarumma has established himself as one of the most promising goalkeepers in Europe and has been linked with both Chelsea and Manchester United.

But Maldini believes the teenage sensation should snub the overtures from other clubs and remain loyal to the Rossoneri, stating he has the opportunity to go down in the outfit's history.

"I hope Gianluigi Donnarumma can have a career like mine and I think he hopes so too," he told Top Calcio 24.

"He'll have to be lucky, because I was fortunate enough to make my debut in a side where there was space for young players."

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Maldini also revealed he had opportunities to leave Milan during his career but his love of the club proved too strong.

He continued: "I received two offers in the mid-1990s: one from Chelsea and the other from Arsenal.

"In those years Milan had two seasons with a few problems, but I never intended to leave.

"We met for the contract renewal and both said we wanted to continue together."

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After a few years in the doldrums, the current Milan side have shown promise under Vincenzo Montella and Maldini is confident they can secure a top-three place and a return to European football.

"Montella deserves a lot of credit, as he’s done a super job," he added.

"Considering how well they did in the first half of the season, Milan have to target third place, but the truth is their real objective remains Europa League qualification. 

"Juventus, Napoli and Roma are stronger teams."