This is the time of the year in the World of Football when rumors fly by the minute. The Transfer Rumors as they call it, most of them are the work of fiction by the men behind the press, but many a times one sees players, their agents or the clubs themselves igniting these sparks.
At the moment, the transfer season is in full flow with every living footballer being linked to every possible club on the horizon. The Rossoneri who were once termed as the bid daddy of this transfer window not so long ago, seem to be on the back foot this time around, a trend they have followed for the past few seasons. The budget for Il Diavolo in the summer transfer market is estimated to be somewhere close to €30 million with 20 million available for major pre-season signings and 10 million reserved specifically for buying and graduating the players from the Primavera setup. This comes as a major blow for an ageing Milan squad who need serious reinforcements in many departments. Reportedly, it was the idea of Marina Berlusconi, the chairperson of Finnevest Holding who owns A.C. Milan, to refrain his father from investing further in the transfer market because of the lack of funds.
Voices coming out of the management such as the one by Galliani that ‘signings of big names is dependent on the exit of some big names’ has not gone down well with the club supporters, who took to the streets of Milan in protests against Berlusconi yesterday, when he kicked off the first pre-season training session of the team along with introducing the new signings to the media. One should tell Vice President Galliani that merely wearing his lucky yellow tie won’t bring the club back to the top of Italian League as well as European football but investing in good players would certainly do the trick.
In this article we would look at all the transfer news doing the rounds at A.C. Milan and which would be continually updated throughout the summer.
Massimiliano Allegri (Manager)
On June 24th, Allegri brushed aside the rumors of who will be managing the Rossoneri in the upcoming season when he signed a two year deal with Milan till 30th June 2012. Allegri, who managed Cagliari from 2008-10′, looks like a suitable replacement for the outgoing Milan manager Leonardo. He was voted as the best Serie A manager in his first season at the top flight of Italian football piping treble winner Jose Mourinho to the top spot.
THT Verdict: One expects the Rossoneri to flourish under him and continue with their attacking game which they played under Leonardo as he is a manager with a similar mindset and likes to field in with 4-3-3 or the 4-3-1-2 formations. Above all, he would not like to repeat the start which he got at Cagliari where he lost his first five games as a manager in charge.
Players coming in
1) From Chievo – Mario Yepes (Defender)
The Columbian was the first signing which Milan did this summer. The 34 year old defender who was once playing for River Plate at the turn of the century comes as nothing more than a backup. His signing certainly didn’t excite any Milan supporter but the fact that he is in his mid 30’s and way past him prime, made him a suitable candidate in the eyes of Galliani. He will easily gel with most of the senior citizens in our squad..
THT verdict: We fail to understand the need of a player who is at the twilight of his career, when all that Milan needed was a pair of young legs. The veteran comes for free but Milan is already suffering a lot due to high wages of its contracted players, so at the same time getting a player likes Yepes is quite difficult to digest.
2) On loan from Genoa – Marco Amelia (Goal Keeper)
The departure of Storari to Juventus and an inconsistent performance between the goal posts by Abbiati in the season gone by forced Milan to sign a loan deal with Genoa for Amelia for one year with a clause which provides the Rossoneri the right to acquire him on co-ownership after his loan period expires.
THT verdict: Amelia was tipped by many to be the next Buffon when his career kicked off. He can be a real asset between the woodwork but he also has the knack of coupling it up with moments of sheer stupidity. He is blessed with brilliant reflexes like Abbiati but whether he will be an improvement over him, only time will tell.
3) In from Genoa – Sokratis Papasthatopoulos (Defender)
His signing comes as a pleasant surprise quite simply because he is just twenty two years of age. Milan got Sokratis for 5 million along with giving Genoa the rights of co-ownership of three of their Primavera lads, Strasser, Zigoni and Oduamadi. He was a regular starter during his spell in Genoa and was among one of the fans’ favorite.
THT verdict: The Greek defender who is traditionally a center back looks like a decent buy for the club. But with the pair of Nesta and Silva fairing well, he will most probably be used as a right back or as a holding mid fielder, pushing Abate on the flanks.
4) In from Inter Milan – (Attila Filkor, Cristian Daminuta, Marco Ezio Fossati)-Youth
Milan permanently signed three promising youngsters from the youth academy of their traditional rivals FC Internazionale. The 22 year old Hungarian national Filkor has spent last two seasons on loan in Serie B with Sassuolo and Gallipoli respectively, earning 21 caps in total. Daminuta is 20 years of age and the defender made 2 appearances during his loan spell for the Romanian side Dynamo Bucharest last season. Fossati is the youngest of the lot and has been a member of Inter’s u-16 and u-18 squad. The Italian mid fielder is considered to be a very good buy for Milan.
THT verdict: Daminuta and Fossati could fill in the void created at the Milan’s youth sector after the co-ownership of Strasser, Zigoni and Oduamadi by Genoa. Filkor can no longer be a part of the youth sector and is unlikely to get decent playing time in the first squad so there is a strong possibility that he might be loaned off for this season. Meanwhile, Strasser will be allowed to remain in Milan for an year, Genoa has allowed that.
Players going out
1) To Juventus- Marco Storari (Goal Keeper)
Juventus brought him for 4.5 million Euros as a replacement for Buffon who has been suffering from back problem since January 2009. Milan has never done justice to his talent by loaning him off to four clubs in the three years he was contracted by them.
2) Unattached – Nelson Dida and Giuseppe Favalli
The end of the last season also marked the end of careers of these two long serving Milanistas. For ten years Dida had been like a wall in front of the goal post for Milan and had a very big hand in Milan’s 2002-03 Champions League triumph. Although he was severely criticized for his ball handling during the later part of his career which led to quite a few “didasters” there is no denying the fact the he had been a loyal and dedicated Milan player all these years.
Favalli or The Professor as he is called by his teammates joined Milan in 2006 as a free transfer from Inter. He was always overshadowed at Milan by the likes of Maldini and Nesta. He got to play a lot in the second half of 2009-2010 owing to injuries to quite a few Milan defenders but he no longer possessed the speed he once had at his disposal.
Out On loan
- Ferdinando Coppola to Atlanta on co-ownership
- Elia Legati to Padova on co-ownership
- Rodney Strasser to Genoa on co-ownership
- Nnamdi Oduamadi to Genoa on co-ownership
- Gianmarco Zigoni to Genoa on co-ownership
1) Ronaldinho to LA Galaxy/Flamengo FC
The former world player of the year has been only a shadow of the player he once was at Barcelona. He didn’t perform that well in his first year in Italy but had a better second season. With fifteen assists he topped the list of assists for the red and blacks and netted twelve goals as well. With only one more year left in his contract he is priced at roughly € 10 million, but Milan would love to hold on to Ronny inspite of his 8 million wage as he seemed to have finally found his feet in San Siro during the season gone by and moreover they have no replacement available for him as well.
Ronny is keeping his cards close to his chest
2) Huntelaar to Manchester City
The Dutchman has always rebutted claims of his transfer to England but recently he has been spotted in Manchester which has all but confirmed that the Dutch striker will most probably leave Italy. Huntelaar came from Madrid last season with great expectations but has failed to deliver in his maiden season at San Siro. Although he was not given enough playing time as he would have liked, but to be honest, his built and his playing style just doesn’t suit the Italian style of football.
3) Edin Dzeko to Milan
The epic of Dzeko has continued from last season to this season as well. Milan would love to sign the Wolfsberg striker who has openly stated his love for Milan last season but the price tag of 40 million by his club on him has made sure that this dream transfer remained a dream last season. This season again he has been linked to Milan along with Juventus who might muster up the asking price of the German club, which has not gone down at all. The dream of many Milan fans and the player himself can only come true if some big names are sold.
Dzeko in red and black looks highly unlikely
4) Gennaro Gattuso to Olympiacos FC
Rino enjoyed a long spell on the bench last season owing to injury and a dip of form. Even though he extended his contract till 2012 in December last year, his agent has made it clear that his player wants more playing time and the legendary Milan player might have to say goodbye to San Siro if he does not fit into the scheme of things of their new manager Allegri.
5) Andrea Lazzari to Milan
Rumors linking the 25 year old Cagliari mid fielder to Milan have increased ten folds ever since Allegri signed the dotted line with them. Lazzari has been on the radar of Milan for quite a few years now. With Allegri at the helm of the Il Diavolo, you can expect him to try his level best to get the highly rated mid fielder at San Siro, who could be fitted into Ronaldinho’s role if the Brazilian decides to leave. But Pierpaolo Bisoli who has been named as the replacement for Cagliari is keen on keeping the Italian at Rossoblu.