Paolo Maldini has told Ralf Rangnick to "learn the concept of respect" after comments the former RB Leipzig coach made regarding certain powers he would need to take a job at Milan.
Reports suggest Rangnick is to be offered a unique role with the Rossoneri where he will combine the jobs of head coach and sporting director.
Such a restructure would leave no place for technical director Maldini or head coach Stefano Pioli, while Zvonimir Boban was sacked as chief football officer earlier this year as part of CEO Ivan Gazidis' shake-up of the hierarchy.
Last week, Rangnick – the former Stuttgart, Schalke and Leipzig boss who is now head of sport and development for Red Bull, the group which owns Leipzig – said he would need "a certain influence" to move to Milan and confirmed talks had taken place with the Serie A club prior to the coronavirus pandemic.
Maldini has taken a dim view of Rangnick's comments and delivered an extraordinary blast in an interview with Italian news agency ANSA.
"Having never talked to Rangnick, I don't understand on what basis his statements are based, also because I have never been told anything by the owner," he said.
"Some considerations in my opinion, however, must be made. The German coach in fact, speaking of a role with full managerial powers both in the sporting and technical areas, invades areas where professionals work with regular contracts.
"So, I would have some advice for him, before learning Italian he should review the general concepts of respect, as there are colleagues who, despite the many difficulties of the moment, are trying to finish the season in a very professional way, putting the good of Milan to their professional pride."
Rangnick has admitted that he would be open to the prospect of joining Milan, while revealing that discussions with the Italian giants took place before the coronavirus enforced break in the season.
“I can’t exclude it completely. Milan asked me about my availability, I advised Red Bull and there were talks with my agent," Rangnick told Bild. “After the contact, the coronavirus outbreak arrived, and more important issues arose. Milan and the Lega have other things to think about.”