AC Milan owner Gerry Cardinale has labelled the 2022 summer transfer window as the primary reason behind the sackings of directors Paolo Maldini and Frederic Massara.
The news stunned the Italian football world on Monday, with the meeting between Cardinale and Maldini lasting just a few minutes, as the owner confirmed the management's desire not to continue with him as the technical director.
Maldini and Massara's views did not align with those of the ownership, with the former asking for more investment, while the ownership have not softened their stance.
Daniele Longo has confirmed that their departures are not because of a resignation, but a dismissal, with the pair's lawyers already at work over the situation.
A report from Nicolo Schira further adds that Cardinale has blamed the pair for the 2022 summer window, with the project being deemed as 'disastrous' by the ownership.
The journalist adds that €51 million was spent on no players that make it into the starting line-up, with the deals for Charles De Ketelaere and Divock Origi standing out as the biggest failures.
De Ketelaere was signed for a whopping €35 million from Club Brugge, while Origi was snapped up on a free transfer from Liverpool, yet he is costing the Rossoneri €4.5 million per year on a four-year deal.
Other moves include Malick Thiaw for €8.6 million, Junior Messias for €5.5 million, Alessandro Florenzi for €2.7 million, together with Aster Vranckx and Sergino Dest, who both arrived on loan.
Maldini re-joined his hometown club Milan in 2018 after a 25-season career with the Rossoneri. He initially served as sporting strategy & development director, before he was then promoted to technical director. His contract was only renewed last July.
Massara joined Milan in 2019 and served as the club's new sporting director, working closely with Maldini on the club's operations.
Current chief scout Geoffrey Moncada has emerged as one of the primary targets to replace the pair, with him being appreciated by Cardinale for his ability to discover talents at modest prices, including the likes of Mike Maignan, Pierre Kalulu, Rafael Leao and Hugo Cuenca.
Milan failed to build on their successful 2021/22 season, where a combination of experienced individuals together with exciting young talents worked their way to the Scudetto, and the Rossoneri's ownership has seemingly seen Maldini and Massara as the ones to blame for the mess.