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Montella backs Donnarumma for Ballon d'Or

AC Milan coach Vincenzo Montella believes Gianluigi Donnarumma has the potential to win the Ballon d'Or at some stage in his career.

The 17-year-old has developed into a key figure at San Siro since making his first-team debut last term and has already represented Italy at senior level despite his tender age.

No shot-stopper has won the Ballon d'Or since the legendary Lev Yashin in 1963, but Montella has backed Donnarumma to emulate the Russian if he makes the right choices.

"For me, Gigio has the potential to win the Ballon d'Or," Montella told Milan Channel.

"A lot will depend on which team he chooses, he will have a bigger chance to win it at a big international club like Milan.

"It will depend on which club he plays for and his performances for the national team."

Donnarumma's contract with Milan is due to expire in June 2018 and a number of clubs are believed to be keeping a close eye on the youngster's situation.

He has been linked with Juventus, Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool among others over the past few months.