Milan boss Stefano Pioli discussed several issues during his pre-match press conference on Thursday, including Romelu Lukaku’s potential impact at Roma, his thoughts about the Mehdi Taremi deal and a predictable ‘tricky’ Champions League group for the Rossoneri.

Pioli spoke at a press conference on Thursday, on the eve of a Serie A clash against Roma at the Stadio Olimpico.

“Every game is important, we are Milan and we play to win,” Pioli said as quoted by Milannews.

“Roma have just one point but they are a strong team, their stats in the first two games were great, but we want to continue after two consecutive victories. Opponents change, but we always want to keep our identity.

“We have worked a lot and prepared well. We have signed important and smart players. The whole system works, but we still have to improve.”

Pioli was asked his thoughts on owner Gerry Cardinale who acquired the club precisely a year ago.


“Cardinale has great charisma and personality, he wants to develop Milan and his enthusiasm is motivating us,” said the Rossoneri coach.

Stefano Pioli hopes Milan can still be active in January transfer window |  Football News - Times of India

Romelu Lukaku is expected to make his Roma debut tomorrow, but will likely start on the bench against Milan, while Paulo Dybala is injured.

“In terms of environment, it doesn’t change much because Roma’s stadium has been sold out for many games,” argued Pioli.

“We work to play games in certain stadiums. We are not scared, but motivated.


“Roma are a strong side with or without Dybala and Lukaku. They are organised and very physical, tricky on set pieces so we must be prepared. Lukaku is an important signing on paper, we’ll see what happens on the pitch.”

What will be Milan’s tactical approach?

“Many things have changed compared to last season. When we have the ball, our positions will be determined by the space they’ll leave us. We want to be aggressive when we don’t have the ball, but we must be careful.”

The Rossoneri are in advanced talks with Porto to sign their striker Taremi, but negotiations with the player’s entourage have hit an impasse.


“Our directors are so good that I didn’t even talk to them today and yesterday, they know I am preparing the game,” said Pioli when asked for updates about the Iran international.

“I don’t know what they are doing and I am not interested. I am very happy with the team I have, we’ll see tomorrow.”



The Italian tactician hinted that Rade Krunic won’t leave: “To me, he is a starter at Milan, I’ve never thought otherwise.”


Christian Pulisic has had a stunning impact scoring in both his opening Serie A games for the Rossoneri. Could the USMNT capital play as a false nine too?


“It’s all possible in football when there are essential factors, such as the quality of players and their desire to be available,” said Pioli.


“Right now, I think it’s important to give certainties to the team because we have changed a lot.”


How many goals can Ruben Loftus-Cheek score and how are other new signings settling in?


“I hope he [RLC] can score many goals, he has the quality to be effective in attack,” noted Pioli.


“They [new signings] are working well, Okafor is recovering from an injury, maybe he is a little behind, but he’s improving. Musah and Chukwueze had a tricky summer too. They didn’t play friendly games but they are ready to play from minute one.”


The Champions League group stage draw takes place today, what does Pioli expect?


“We’ll be flying to Rome during the draw, hopefully, the [plane’s] captain will give us updates. We did great in the Champions League last season and we want to face this competition with enthusiasm. We are in pot three so we’ll probably have a tricky group, it’s normal. I’ve learned that I should never lose trust in players and be positive, trying to understand how to help the team in difficult moments.”

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