Gennaro Gattuso has admitted he threatened to knock AC Milan 'wonderkid' Hachim Mastour's teeth out if he continued to post videos showcasing his skills online.
The Morocco international made his name after posts consisting of his trickery continued to go viral, with the expectations being the attacking midfielder would have the chance to break into the first team squad this season despite underwhelming loan spells at Malaga and Dutch outfit PEC Zwolle over the past two years.
However, boss Rino, who is perceived as a no-nonsense manager, has been left unimpressed with his player's progression; albeit the Italian-born teenager has featured in the Primavera this season due to his improvements.
And when discussing Mastour with Football Italia, Gattuso made the startling admission that he even threatened the player with physical violence in a bid to make him stop focusing on enhancing his profile away from Milan's pitch.
“We’ve talked a lot lately,” Gattuso said in his press conference. “I even threatened him because he became more famous for making videos than playing, but he doesn’t do that anymore because I told him I’d knock his teeth out!
“In recent months he’s improved some things in training, and we decided to let him play in the Primavera. The train has passed but he’s not 50-years-old, he’s 20-years-old [in June], and I think he has to take stock of his mistakes.
“He needs to play consistently because we can see he’s lost some match sharpness. I’ve noticed a few improvements though.”
Although Mastour has, in Gattuso's words, started to show signs of "improvement", and the manager insisting his future could still be in Milan, time is running out for the youngster; whose contract expires at the end of this season.