The whirlwind of summer activity rolls on with the 9th signing of the transfer window. Lucas Biglia’s transfer was a relatively drawn out one with the 31 years old Argentine the subject of several rumours and bids.
The midfielder now joins from Lazio on a three year contract thought to be €17m plus €3m in appearance and performance bonuses.
A midfield organizer has been missing from the team and summer’s market activity and in getting Biglia Milan take a big step in improving the shape of the team in the middle of the pitch. However this might mean a player Locatelli is pushed down the pecking order and there are already rumours casting an uncertain future for the Italian. Montolivo, the current captain, now has major competition for his spot as well, or as some would prefer is now ‘officially’ relegated to the bench.
For more on the transfer window check the forum as well.
The new era is on a record pace and not only in amount spent but in surprise and quick announcements. The prospect of signing Leonardo Bonucci seemed close to impossible only days ago but it has now become official, subject to a medical however.
Leonardo Bonucci, 30, joins from Juventus on a 5 years contract with a salary thought to be somewhere between €6.5 and €7.5 million net. The transfer fee is thought to be €40 million.
The idea that Juventus would be selling one of their best is very surprising but Juventus stick to the policy of letting go of players who want out. Bonucci formed the feared and highly rated three man defensive wall at Juventus (and the Azzurri) – along with Andrea Barzagli and Giorgio Chiellini. The transfer has moved at record pace and Milan are heading to the Chinese mini tour. Bonucci will soon be the 8th signing of the summer with transfer fees spent rapidly approaching €200 million!
Andrea Conti, the attacking right back that recently won the Serie A best defender of the season award for the 2016-2017 season, has becomes Milan’s seventh signing of the summer transfer window.
The 23 years old has wanted Milan for weeks and cut his vacation time, following the Euro U-21s, to complete his medical and sign on for Milan. He arrives for around €25 million plus. As part of the deal Atalanta also get Matteo Pessina, the 20 years old midfielder, from Milan.
Hakan Calhanoglu has become the 6th summer signing as the 23 years old German born Turkish international joins from Bayer Leverkusen for around €20 million and up to €4 million in bonuses. The attacking midfielder who could also feature on the wing is a free kick expert who has a very good collection of impressive goals scored from outside the box and even farther back.
The former Hamburg and Karlsruhe player is coming off a four month suspension. The FIFA sanction related to a contract dispute in 2011 when Calhanoglu accepted €100,000 to sign with Trabzonspor but then opted to remain and extend at Karlsruhe.
The new management’s team revamp has moved along much quicker than Milan fans are used to but it has nevertheless slowed down the last two weeks. The search for forwards and midfielders continues with the assumption that the likes of Bacca, Lapadula and Niang will find buyers.
Fabio Borini’s name wasn’t in the rumour mill until very recently and his career doesn’t exactly excite Milan fans. His goal scoring numbers at Liverpool and relegated Sunderland do not inspire but he is arriving on the cheap and is still in his mid 20s. The transfer is said to be an initial loan and to cost a total of around €6 million with the former Roma and Chelsea player signing a four year contract.
Andre Silva is a somewhat surprise signing, the 21 years old Portuguese international center forward and recipient of high praise from Cristiano Ronaldo joins Milan from Porto on a five year contract. Numerous numbers have been floated for the player who had a €60 million release clause in his Porto contract. Reports indicate that Porto, in dire need of money, have accepted an amount closer to €38 million.
One of the most pressing needs of the team going into the new season with new ownership has been finding a new striker. Bacca mostly underwhelmed last season. Montella showed little faith in the Colombian and sometimes picked Lapadula ahead of him. Eventhough Bacca’s transfer value has apparently plummeted and there are very little signs he is in demand Milan have been searching for a forward. Advances towards Andrea Belotti, Alvaro Morata and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang seemed to have been unsuccessful, for now at least. Only recently Andre Silva’s name emerged as a possibility and with Fassone and Mirabelli seemingly finding a good relationship with his agent, Jorge Mendes, things proceeded very quickly over the past few days. Jorge Mendes also represents many big stars including Diego Costa, whose name is still in the running for a Milan transfer. The new management are rebuilding the team at high speed and at this point more high profile signings are not out of the question.
One of the more sought after full backs has signed and becomes the third official signing of the new era. The 24 year old Swiss in international left back, with Spanish and Chilean roots, joins Milan for a fee of about €15 million and around €3 million in bonuses. He had spent the last five seasons at Wolfsburg.
The 20 year old Ivory Coast midfielder arrives from Atalanta on what is described as a two year loan with an obligation to buy him in 2019. The fee is believed to be €28 million plus bonuses.
Franck Kessie becomes the second signing of the off season following the Mateo Musacchio signing earlier in the week.
The new era with the new Chinese owners got to work right after the last game of the season and the long rumoured and awaited Mateo Musacchio signing is now official. The 26 year old Rosario, Argentina born central defender signs after 7 years at Villareal. The transfer fee looks to have been around €18 million.
On the same day Montella’s contract was renewed till 2019. As expected the coach will continue to be part of the new rebuild with more signings to come.
Follow the match as it happens, on the forum.
After seemingly weeks of every team trying to avoid the prize Milan captured the final Europa League qualifying spot. A somewhat convincing 3-0 vs Bologna means sixth place in Serie A and thanks to the involvement of Lazio in the Coppa Italia Final (vs Juventus) Italy gets this additional ticket.
The 3-0 win once again featured a different looking line up. Bacca and Lapadula started up front together and the midfield had Deulofeu playing as a kind of right midfielder along side Bertolacci, Montolivo, Pasalic and Vangioni. The trio at the back consisted of Romagnoli, Gomez and Paletta. In any event this was sufficient and the win an important step for the future of the team.
The final game of the season will force another change in the line up as more players are absent. Romagnoli and Deulofeu are both unavailable after the Bologna match and that almost certainly means Deulofeu has already played his last Milan game and will return to Everton or parent club Barcelona in June. Montella may therefore return to the oft used 4-3-3 and give Honda a start with Bacca and Suso. The Japanese came on for Bacca vs Bologna and scored from a beautiful free kick. On the plus side Bonaventura is back in the squad but will stay on the bench having just returned from a long absence
The rumour mill has suggested many changes to come and perhaps just as importantly the Donnarumma renewal is still not close to being settled with suggestions of hard lines by both sides. Follow that story and the summer transfer market on the forum. In the meanwhile this game will be a relatively relaxed one before a very important and possibly very exciting summer.