AC Milan are linked with Kaka, Nuri Sahin and a number of midfielders for the summer transfers. Will Milan finally make a big signing or will they remain content with the players available on bosman?
AC Milan is no longer the big fish of the transfer window that it once used to be; this is a fact which isn’t secret anymore. While clubs like Napoli, Inter and the current Italian Champions, Juventus, are splurging on players at will, Milan have predominantly been dependent on Bosman signings. Departure of players like Gattuso, Seedorf, Inzaghi and Nesta, who took Milan back to the pinnacle of the sport over the last decade, has left a major void in the squad of Il Diavolo. Replacing such big names is always going to be a daunting task for Milan’s management but the lack of funds has made it even worse.
Juventus became the first club in Serie A last year to own a stadium which has helped the Bianconeri substantially in the transfer window this time around. Meanwhile, on the other hand Milan are not even talking about owning a stadium in the near future. As far as the transfer funds are concerned the biggest blow to Milan came in July 2011, when Fininvest, the financial holding company which owns AC Milan, was ordered by an Italian court to pay CIR the sum of 564 million euro as compensation for the damages suffered dating back to 1991.
Ever since this order, Milan’s hands have been tied in the transfer window which has only resulted in players landing with them only as free agents or on loan deals. It is due to this huge loss which Milan’s parent company had incurred that the Rossoneri initially thought and then later came quite close to selling Thiago Silva to PSG, who came with a reported 42 million euro bid. Milan’s Vice President flew to Paris to hold talks to PSG’s management in mid June but President Berlusconi decided to call the deal off at the very last minute. While many labelled the Thiago Silva transfer saga as nothing but a mere PR move by the cash strapped AC Milan’s management, the club faithful across the globe breathed a sigh of relief as the departure of the only non replaceable Rossoneri, Silva, would have also prompted their star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic to look for other options.
Allegri had mentioned on several occasions last season that he would go for a much slender (25-26 man) squad in the 2012-13 season but after witnessing a major injury crisis last season one wonders whether Max has been forced to reconsider. Milan kicked off the transfer season by signing midfielders, Montolivo and Traore, for free from Fiorentina and Nancy respectively. Later, they signed nineteen year old Gabriel who will most likely be their third goalkeeper and only last week they completed the much anticipated co-ownership deal of defender Francesco Acerbi with Genoa.
Although Acerbi’s arrival was on the cards for months, Galliani also managed to snap midfielder Kevin Constant from Genoa on loan with an option to buy after the Ghanaian midfielder, Muntari, was sidelined for six to seven months after picking up an injury while playing on the beach with his friends. Much to everyone’s surprise, Flamini renewed his contract and accepted a huge cut in his salary while Aquilani moved back to Liverpool. Galliani appears quite satisfied with the present Milan squad and said that they are only a midfielder short unless a player leaves.
Here, we try to look at the top five names which are doing the rounds and their realistic chance of arriving at the Lombardy club this summer..
.Let’s accept it; ever since he moved to Madrid, Ricky Kaká has only been a mere shadow of a player that he was at Milan. Constant injury problems to the Brazilian have meant that in spite of spending three years with the Spanish giants, the former AC Milan playmaker has failed to earn Mourinho’s trust which has seen him slip out of Los Blancos’ starting XI. Kaká is still regarded by Milan faithful as their prodigal son resulting in him been linked back with the Rossoneri in every transfer window since his departure. The mass exodus from Milan this summer saw the Italian papers linking the Brazilian again with his former club but Galliani squashed all these rumors citing Kaká’s annual salary as the major roadblock for this move to materialize.
“Kaká to Milan? It’s impossible because of his salary.”- Galliani
Despite several papers reporting that Kaká’s father was spotted in Milan last week and that he will be holding discussions with Milan’s management after Real Madrid had given their nod for the negotiations, the rumors do not hold great substance. While some speculate that the Brazilian is ready to accept a major salary cut and complete a loan move to Milan to get more playing time, in order to be in contention for the World Cup in 2014, some suggest that there could be a swap deal in place between Milan and Madrid which will send Kaká back to Italy while Madrid will most likely get their hands on a much younger and fitter Boateng.
Our Verdict: Gallaini had indicated that Milan is only looking to sign a deep lying playmaker who would play in front of the defense and Kaká certainly does not fit the bill. In the past as well, Kaká has categorically denied a return to Milan but with an eye on the World Cup, he may be forced to reconsider his decision. At present, chances of this move materializing look bleak..
.As Luca Modric gets close to penning a deal with Real Madrid with every passing day, the rumors of Nuri Sahin’s exit from the Real are catching more and more fire. Last summer, Real snapped the Turkish midfielder from the Bundesliga champions, Borussia Dortmund, for a reported fee of 10 million euros, but the 23 year old has nothing much to show from his first year with the Los Blancos.
Sahin has found it extremely difficult to break into the starting lineup of an already dominant Real Madrid midfield and has started in only four matches last season. Sahin will comfortably walk into the current midfield of the Rossoneri which at best can be termed as average. He will bring his brilliant passing technique to the table which will serve as a major upgrade for the current Milan squad.
Our Verdict: The biggest concern for Milan has to be his price as they are only looking to sign players who are free agents; while Sahin still has five of his six years remaining on his contract with Madrid. If Milan wants his services they will have to cough up some cash unless they can get him on loan. In order to land up Sahin, Berlusconi will have to strike a deal with his longtime friend Perez, which can actually happen. So, this deal still remains a possibility.., t
.Milan are on the lookout for a regista as Galliani had reportedly said and the 27 year old defensive midfielder is probably the best player Milan can land up after Mark van Bommel moved to PSV Eindhoven. Like Kaká and Sahin, Diarra has not been the first choice for Real Madrid’s manager Jose Mourinho as the Frenchman has featured only in fifteen league games last season with Khedira getting a nod ahead of him. Italian papers have reported that Milan have already initiated negotiations with regard to Diarra who is wanted in both Premier League and by Russian club Spartak Moscow.
Our verdict: He is exactly the player Milan want but his age might hamper his arrival as Galliani is known for his love for over-age players. He is reported to cost around eight million pounds and with Mesbah and Taiwo’s sale on the cards, Milan might actually be able to sign Diarra as a deep lying playmaker, a position still lying vacant..
.The 32 year old central midfielder has impressed Milan’s Vice President Galliani with his performance at Novara as he scored eleven goals in the 2011-12 season before his side was relegated to Serie B after just a single season in the top flight of Italian football. Novara sporting director, Cristiano Giaretta admitted that both Milan and Genoa have shown their interest in signing Rigoni and he would cost them close to €2m. Rigoni started his career at Padova before moving to Juventus but only played one game for the Bianconeri. He is hoping to receive a call from the Rossoneri and said that “I’d really like to wear the Milan jersey, I’m a fan of theirs and I would fulfill a dream should I get to play for them.”
Our verdict: He fits into the category of an out an out utility player that Milan have started to sign in bulk since last summer’s transfer window. His salary and cost shouldn’t be much of a problem for Galliani. He is most likely to be the last option for Milan if they fail to land up any world class midfielder this summer and if one goes by the activities of the club in the current transfer market, Rigoni looks closer to AC Milan than any other midfielder. .
. The rumors linking Strootman to Milan caught a lot of fire after Mark van Bommel signed for PSV Eindhoven and took Strootman’s jersey number. Strootman is known for his exquisite defensive skills and has a natural drive to get forward which will help Milan to form a more balanced connection between the defense and the offense.
Our Verdict: He was signed along with Dries Mertens from Utrecht by PSV for a joint deal worth €13m and today the upcoming midfielder is expected to cost around €8m. Manchester United were also linked with Strootman but the English club has denied the rumors leaving Milan only in contention to sign the midfielder. Milan already signed a Kevin this season from Genoa on loan so the arrival of this Dutch Kevin looks highly unlikely.