Having closed the door firmly on the sale of Mario Balotelli and Giampaolo Pazzini, AC Milan’s vice-president Adriano Galliani is to hold talks with Stephan El Shaarawy this week to discuss his future with the Rossoneri.
The Italian forward, who only extended his contract until 2018 in February, is attracting attention from numerous top European clubs and Galliani has so far refused to categorically rule out the sale of the 20-year-old, who is valued at €40 million.
With French clubs Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco reportedly interested, and Manchester City also being linked with every top striker in Europe, Galliani expects El Shaarawy in his office as soon as he returns from the Confederations Cup to clarify the situation.
"I’m going to talk to him on Tuesday," he told Sky Sports Italia before suggesting that a repeat of the double sale of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva to PSG last summer could be on the cards for yet another Rossoneri fans’ favourite. "We’ve got lots of players and before we can buy anybody, we’ve got to sell."
El Shaarawy scored 16 goals last season, 12 of which came in the first 14 games of the season. After netting in the Milan city derby on February 24, he failed to find the back of the net again until scoring in the penalty shoot-out of the third-place play-off at the Confederations Cup on Sunday, but that drought does not appear to have put off potential suitors.
That derby goal was the only time he scored since Balotelli arrived from Manchester City, leading to suggestions the pair are incompatible in the same side and, with Galliani announcing that Balotelli “absolutely cannot be sold”, El Shaarawy is beginning to look surplus to requirements at the San Siro.
Before meeting with El Shaarawy, Galliani will attend the funeral of former Milan striker Stefano Borgonovo, who lost his battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis last week. Balotelli and Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti are also expected at Monday’s funeral. "I will always remember the goal Stefano scored in Munich which took us to the final (of the European Cup), which we won against Benfica," Galliani told Radio Sportiva.
"We spoke and exchanged emails in recent years and I am really saddened. It was amazing the way he fought this illness with great strength and dignity. Stefano did a great deal to try to contribute to ensuring research continues in finding a cure for this terrible illness."