Milan technical director Paolo Maldini has revealed that contract talks with Gianluigi Donnarumma have been 'frozen' while the January transfer window is ongoing.
The 21-year-old's current deal expires at the end of the season and he is weighing up the possibility of leaving a club for whom he has made 228 senior appearances since breaking into the first team at the age of just 16.
Milan's Serie A rivals Inter and Juventus have reportedly both expressed an interest, while Chelsea have also been linked with a close-season swoop.
And those clubs have been given encouragement with the news that discussions over a new contract have been paused, temporarily at least.
"We talk, but for now we have frozen the renewal issue to think about the January transfer market," Maldini said.
"We were protagonists, the ownership allowed us to act within certain parameters. We are in two competitions and we have the team to get to the bottom of both."
Milan's top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic is facing scrutiny this week after being accused of racially abusing Inter forward Romelu Lukaku during a fiery derby meeting in the Coppa Italia.
FIGC president Gabriele Gravina has confirmed the incident is being looked into but Maldini has vowed that the club will stand behind the veteran.
"The only thing is that it was really too long as a fight. It happens to fight, it's a bad episode but that ends there," he added.
"What will happen? Let's see, we are ready to defend ours player in any way. Honestly, if racism were to be brought up, it has nothing to do with Ibra."