AC Milan looks to close the signing of Keisuke Honda with another eye reportedly set on Julio Cesar, while Borini looks to fight for his place at Liverpool, closing all doors on Lazio.
Honda close to Milan
A transfer saga which has dragged on for the better part of the last month seems to be finally heading closure, with Milan looking to wrap up the deal soon. Milan’s recent tactical change required an experienced play-maker in the final third. Although Honda was linked to Milan in past transfer windows, Milan did not make any move for the Japanese and subsequently it remained a distant dream to see him at San Siro.
After last season’s troubled finish and on the insistence of the President, Milan seems to have shifted from a 4-3-3 to a 4-3-1-2 formation, which clearly gives a higher importance to the central attacking midfielder up front. The only player in the Milan line-up, who can play in that position is Saponara and he is untested on that front. Keeping that in mind, Milan stepped up their pursuit of Honda, soon after his stellar performance in the recently conclude Confederations Cup.
Acquiring Honda will open up a new window for Milan, as through him they can hope to establish a strong foothold in the Far East. After it was repeatedly stated by Galliani that in order for a player to arrive, someone has to leave, he seems to have taken a U-turn and made a move for him. Although personal terms were already agreed with Honda long before, CSKA were unwilling to let him go for below the asking price. However, with Honda’s contract set to expire in December, Milan were also eager to wait till then so that they can sign him for free in January. The urge to complete the deal gathered pace in the last few days with Honda himself coming out stating that he wanted the move to go through. As per latest reports, Milan are offering CSKA € 4 million for his services.
Milan might look to bring Julio Cesar back to Italy
The Brazilian has stated his desires to move on after QPR were relegated last season. Although he did not set the league on fire, he did pull off some amazing saves during his stay there. His performance in the Confederations Cup saw a rise in his stocks.
Napoli were interested to bring back the Brazilian to Italy, but since Cesar denied to have a pay-cut, that move did not materialize. The 33-year old presently earns € 2.7 million per season and Milan might be able to match that figure. Should the Italian giants bring him back, he will be the third player in consecutive seasons from Internazionale to have donned Milan colours after Muntari and Balotelli. But with Abbiati still going strong and Cesar not exactly getting any younger, question arises as to how effective will he be for Milan?
Borini not moving to Lazio
Fabio Borini was touted as the next big thing, after he exploded on to the scene few years back. His subsequent move to Liverpool last season saw him become the first signing for manager Brendan Rodgers. However, he did not exactly set the league on fire and spent an injury-hit season.
Reports emerged that Lazio were interested in bringing him back to Italy to rejuvenate his career, but the player has come out to categorically deny these rumours. Lazio are on the lookout for a striking partner for Klose and hence Borini’s name cropped up. Having missed most of last season, Borini returned to full fitness this summer as Italy’s U-21 squad reached the finals of the European Under-21 Championship.
The player is now intent on earning his place in the starting eleven for Liverpool, knowing very well that a long task awaits him.