AC Milan snap up Lille goalkeeper Maignan in five-year deal


Rome (AFP) – French international goalkeeper Mike Maignan has signed a five-year contract with AC Milan, the Serie A club announced on Thursday.  

The 25-year-old, who is the third-choice goalkeeper for the French national team, will have the tough task of succeeding Italian first choice Gianluigi Donnarumma whose departure was made official on Wednesday. 

Maignan helped Lille win the French league title on Sunday while AC Milan finished second in Serie A, 12 points behind their neighbours Inter. 

Maignan will officially join AC Milan when the Italian transfer window opens in July.

He “will be joining the club starting from July 1, 2021. The goalkeeper has signed a contract with the Rossoneri until June 30, 2026, and will wear the number 16 jersey,” said AC Milan on their website.

Italian media reported that Milan will pay Lille 15 million euros (18.4 million dollars).

Lille confirmed “the total agreement reached with AC Milan for the transfer of Mike Maignan”.

They called him ‘the Magic Eagle’ and said “he will leave an indelible mark on history with a championship title that no one will forget”.

They pointed out he had kept a clean sheet at the San Siro, when Lille won 3-0 away to AC Milan in a Europa League group match in November.

The 25-year-old Maignan, who was born in Cayenne in French Guyana, has one French cap and has been selected for the Euros.

He came through the youth system at Paris Saint-Germain but never played for the first team.

He joined Lille in 2015. He finished this season with 21 clean sheets, the most in any of the big five European leagues this season, Lille said, as the club edged PSG to take the Ligue 1 crown and  became one of the team leaders this season. 

That title could be followed by an exodus.

Coach Christophe Galtier quit on Tuesday and Lille have been hit hard financially by the health crisis and by the failure of Mediapro, the Ligue 1 broadcaster.

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