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Ask Leonardo - Gattuso responds to Ibrahimovic speculation

Omnisport
NEWS
News
361   //    03 Oct 2018, 20:13 IST
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Zlatan Ibrahimovic playing for AC Milan in 2012

Gennaro Gattuso has indicated he has no say over whether AC Milan make a shock move for the club's former striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Reports have suggested Ibrahimovic could be a target for the Rossoneri, who were without a striker for Sunday's win at Sassuolo due to injuries to players including Gonzalo Higuain.

Ibrahimovic celebrated his 37th birthday on Wednesday and scored his 500th career goal in LA Galaxy's MLS loss to Toronto last month.

The former Sweden striker has hit 20 MLS goals since leaving Manchester United for LA, but Gattuso skirted the issue when asked about the speculation.

Gattuso, whose own Milan future is reportedly in doubt, suggested any transfer decisions would be made by the club's leadership group, comprising sporting strategy and development director Paolo Maldini, Leonardo and chairman Paolo Scaroni. 

"Today is his birthday, so I wish him many happy returns," Gattuso said at a news conference ahead of Thursday's Europa League game against Olympiacos.

"I'll only speak about the players I have available. Ask Maldini, Leonardo and Scaroni.

"Today I just want to wish Ibra a happy birthday and wish him all the best.

"Ibra is 37 but he can still score goals."

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Higuain has been absent for Milan's last two matches but the Argentina attacker's presence did not seem to be missed in a 4-1 victory at high-flying Sassuolo on Sunday.

Samu Castillejo played as a makeshift central striker and scored his first Milan goal, with Franck Kessie also on target and Suso hitting his first Rossoneri goals since February.

But Gattuso said Higuain may be ready to return against Greek giants Olympiacos, the striker having scored in his last three appearances for Milan.

"You have to admire Higuain for what he does and how much he helps the rest of players," Gattuso said.

"I've never thought his absence is a problem for us, even if it’s better to always have him in the team.

"We need to understand how to assist him and put him in the best conditions to score goals. He is an added value for us.

"Right now he is training, let's see if he is going to play on Sunday because I have other doubts in my mind. However, he could also play tomorrow. Who knows.”

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