The 20-year-old striker scored an impressive 19 goals in all competitions this term and subsequently earned himself a number of admirers across the continent – most notably in England, where the likes of Arsenal and Manchester City are understood to be chasing him.
“I don’t think I will leave Milan,” and even took the opportunity to respond directly to rumours he could move to the Etihad this summer.
“If City really wants me, it flatters me. But I want to stay here at AC Milan.”
However, his current club’s vice-presidentAdriano Galliani seems to have other ideas – he effectively told reporters this week that player is ‘for sale’.
“El Shaarawy? We never said he is not for sale,” insisted Galliani in what seems to be a dismissal of the dismissal that he ‘could be sold’ this summer.
Basically, Galliani impressed upon the press in Italy that Stephan El Shaarawy - one of the club’s most exciting prospects – is not not for sale. I suppose that begs the question is he for sale or just not not for sale? Is there a difference?
Forgive my insolence on the matter but it strikes me as odd that a very young and very talented highly-rated player who has, incidentally, expressed his desire to not leave his current club would then be put up for sale by that club. Usually these things happen the other way around.
Ordinarily when a player is a target of another high-profile club, the current club insist he is ‘absolutely not for sale’, even when he is. Then, usually, the player states that whilst he ‘loves’ his current club, it would be an ‘honour’ or a ‘dream’ to play for the other club. This whole story is happening completely backwards.
What this suggests to me is that the player wants to continue playing football in Italy, first and foremost, and continue his sensational development right under the watchful eyes of national team boss Cesare Prandelli (as I mentioned previously).
However, the club have obviously seen Manchester City coming a mile off and smelt the cash in their pockets – City are reportedly willing to pay €40 million for him which is as silly as ‘silly money’ gets.
Whilst all this silliest carries on, AC Milan are clearly hoping they’ll be the one laughing last – all the way to bank, I should imagine. But, there might be one flaw in their plan – the silly player wants to stay.
image: © olaszmelo