Trouble brewing in Milan as Boban hits out at CEO Gazidis over Rangnick approach

Zvonimir Boban hit out at Milan CEO Ivan Gazidis for going behind his back to approach Ralf Rangnick over a possible move to San Siro as the chief football officer demanded an urgent meeting with the club's owners.

Milan are seemingly split off the pitch, with one side of the board eyeing RB Leipzig's head of sport and development Rangnick in a dual role for next season, while Boban and technical director Paolo Maldini look to keep faith with head coach Stefano Pioli – who was appointed in October.

Ongoing speculation linking German Rangnick to Milan as coach and director of sport has sparked tension over the strategy of the club and Boban is far from happy with former Arsenal chief executive officer Gazidis.

"Until a few days ago, I thought it was true that there were not two souls within Milan, albeit taking into account all the thousand initial difficulties, cultural differences and very different passions for the Rossoneri cause," Boban told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"The fact we're having to talk about this is not good for anyone. The worst part is that this destabilising event is happening during a moment when the team is improving and you can see Stefano Pioli's hard work.

"Not even warning us was disrespectful and inelegant. It was not the Milan style. At least not what we remembered the Milan style as being.

"The way I see it, unity means sharing, unity means respect. At the end of the day, we need that approach, it is the only way to work and feel good.

"We've already talked to Gazidis. For the good of Milan, it is certainly necessary that a meeting with the ownership happens as soon as possible."

Pioli has steadied the ship after a difficult start to the season under former boss Marco Giampaolo, with Milan seventh and nine points outside of the Champions League places in Serie A.

The arrival of Zlatan Ibrahimovic in January has helped rejuvenate Milan, who parted with the likes of Krzysztof Piatek, Suso, Mattia Caldara and Ricardo Rodriguez.

Boban added: "The owners must be clear both in terms of the budget and their objectives. In essence, we must respect the needs of the club to balance the books, while the owners must respect leaving the sporting results to those who represent the history and values of a great club.

"At this moment, despite the efforts we made in the January transfer window, making many cuts and sales to lower the wage bill, we still don't know what margins we'll be working with for the summer.

"We were asked to lower the average age of the squad and we did that, but always maintaining the need for the right mix between youth and experience. The January transfer window shows we were right, you can see how quickly the younger players improved with more senior figures by their side."