AC Milan supporters have written an open letter to wantaway goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma and his agent Mino Raiolo, claiming the 18-year-old has ruined his reputation by refusing to sign a new deal at the club.
Donnarumma sparked a backlash from supporters of the capital side following his announcement that he would not be signing a contract extension once his current Milan deal expires at the end of the 2017-18 campaign.
Raiola has since accused Milan of creating a hostile envronment for Donnarumma, and even bullying him, though CEO Marco Fassone has denied those claims.
It has pushed the ultra wing of the club, Curva Sud Milano, to publish an open letter to Donnarumma and Raiola, declaring their disgust at the teenager choosing money over the affection of the fans.
“After [Italian President Sergio] Mattarella on December 31, it’s time for the unified speech by Mino Raiola on all the sports channels,” their statement reads. “Obviously with HIS journalists, with previously agreed questions and all pre-recorded, because it should never be a real debate with real questions.
“It seems strange to see Raiola, who has always shunned the Press, opening his doors and trying to save the impossible.
“It seems strange to hear words like ‘hostile climate’, ‘forcing’, and ‘threats’ that translate financially to €25m in five years, the captain’s armband and six months of reflections to get to June and say they feel hurried.
“It’s seems strange to hear about a hostile climate for a lad who is the first Milan player in many years to have his own song from the fans and so much love from every single Milan fan.
“It seems strange to learn from Raiola that there was no discussion of wages or the length of the contract. Maybe because in the famous game of ‘the compensation that would be paid to Milan will go to me’, some elementary things have no value.
“It seems strange that Raiola, with his polished Italian and infinite culture, did not comprehend the simple meaning of a banner to which he referred!
“It seems strange that such a great agent was unable to represent the interests of his client.
“Instead he destroyed his image not only in the eyes of Milan fans, but of all football fans, who now find that an 18-year-old can be irreconcilable with the club which launched him in the sole interest of a man behind him, promising mountains of money.
The group then questioned Donnarumma's reasoning, claiming the love he generated from the fans is something which has no price.
“It seems strange that, just a few days after the farewell of Francesco Totti, in tears in front of his fans, a lad of 18 would prefer money to being treated as a God by his fans," it continued.
“For a sportsman, the gratitude of the fans has no financial value, and we invite Donnarumma to reflect upon what he has denied himself for the rest of his career.
“It doesn’t seem strange to us that Raiola didn’t explain how everything changed so fast.
“It doesn’t seem strange to us that a club symbol who really wanted to be one [Marek Hamsik] moved away from this character, becoming captain of the club [Napoli] he chose to love.
“It doesn’t seem strange even to try and cast old condors [Adriano Galliani] in a good light, who say they want the best for Milan having placed one who could have been a club symbol for the future in the hands of a vulture, so now he is merely the symbol of easy money.
“The actual reality of football is increasingly far from the passion of the people and closer to Raiola-style characters, figures capable of conditioning whole careers and histories of the most important clubs with one goal: their own self-interest.
The statement goes on to recognise the difficult position Donnarumma has been put in, and even suggests there may be a future for him at the club should he change his mind.
“We want to thank those who are working for the good of Milan and have brought people with Rossoneri values back to the club, people who really meant it when they kissed the badge and deserved it when they received affection," the statement continued.
“We know it must have been difficult for the lad to defend himself from the thousands of criticism and insults he’s received in the past few days, but when you swear love and betray it, that’s all that can happen.
“On social media it’s likely that things have been over the top, and of course we don’t think threats are right, they have nothing to do with our position.
“We believe there may still be a chance to rebuild things, but it’s now linked to the expulsion for his affairs of those who pushed him in a bad direction, ruining his image.
“Players come and go, we and Milan will always be there.”