Paolo Maldini has acknowledged that he would only entertain offers from “high-level clubs” as he looks to make his return to football.
The iconic Italian defender departed from his position as AC Milan’s technical director in June 2023 and has been linked to a potential role at Manchester United as part of Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s envisioned sporting department, pending his upcoming minority takeover.
Despite the speculation, Maldini expressed a strong connection to Milan, making it challenging for him to join another club unless presented with a substantial project to convince him otherwise.
“For my job, the alternatives to Milan are very limited,” he told La Repubblica. “I could never go to another Italian team, possibly I would only evaluate the offer of a high-level foreign team. I like winning and building.
“Saudi Arabia could be a stimulating option, who knows?”
Richard Arnold has stepped down as chief executive at Old Trafford, and Jean-Claude Blanc, formerly associated with Juventus and PSG, is among the frontrunners to succeed him in Jim Ratcliffe’s regime.
Ratcliffe wants to adopt a strategy akin to Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital at Chelsea, assembling a team of directors and experienced professionals to guide United forward. Various reports suggest that Paolo Maldini is being considered as a potential candidate for a role in this setup.
Paul Mitchell, who recently left Monaco in October, is Jim Ratcliffe’s favored choice for the sporting director role. However, there might be multiple appointments, and individuals like Atalanta’s Lee Congerton and Crystal Palace’s Dougie Freedman have been under consideration.
Despite Steve Parish, the owner of Crystal Palace, stating that United hasn’t contacted him regarding their interest in Freedman, it is anticipated that Manchester United will intensify their quest for a new director following the completion of Ratcliffe’s share acquisition.