Soccer-Donnarumma's Milan heir Maignan aims to write his own story

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Ligue 1 - Olympique Lyonnais v Lille - Groupama Stadium, Lyon, France - April 25, 2021 Lille's Mike Maignan reacts REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo

(Reuters) - Mike Maignan insists he will be his own man at AC Milan and work hard to ensure he successfully fills the boots of departed goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.

The Frenchman joined the Serie A side from Lille on a five-year deal in May to replace Italy international Donnarumma, who joined Paris St Germain on a free transfer at the end of his contract.

Donnarumma was the Rossoneri’s number one for six years and won Euro 2020 Player of the Tournament after helping the Azzurri to glory this summer.

But Maignan, who won the French Ligue 1 title last season, is not daunted by the challenge of being named his heir.

“Donnarumma always did a great job at Milan and contributed to the club. He is a top goalkeeper, but I am starting my own story at Milan,” Maignan told a news conference.

“I will work hard like he did. I have been in touch with (goalkeeping coach) Dida, he can help me a lot to follow my personal path.”

Maignan revealed he had the chance to join one of Milan’s Serie A rivals ahead of the new season, where Stefano Pioli’s side will aim to improve on a second-place finish in 2020-21.

“I was contacted by AS Roma as well, but the negotiations with Milan had already started so I completed the move to the Rossoneri,” said the 26-year-old.

“Milan will help me a lot and I will help the club. Serie A is a league full of great professionals, like I will be, and it will help me to develop.”

(Reporting by Alasdair Mackenzie; Editing by Toby Davis)

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