We have lost out on Morata, Dortmund does not want to let go of Aubameyang and Belotti is not nearly worth the 100.000.000 € that Cairo put on his head. Where do we move from here? Kalinic? Keeping Bacca? Or are there other options we should look at?
It has certainly been a question that many milanisti have been thinking about: Who is going to lead our frontline in the upcoming season? Bacca, by no means a bad striker, seems to be out of the picture. I understand why, he is a highly one-dimensional player and his attitude hasn’t really helped him in the past months, visibly annoyed whenever he got subbed. Morata, in my opinion, would have been a great striker from a quality point of view. He has proven himself with Juventus, it would have been another one up on Juventini after we snatched up the best defender in Serie A. However, €90.000.000 is a very high price that Chelsea only paid because they really needed a striker.
The problem with Belotti and his price is that he has to confirm his previous season. If we look back at the goals he scored, it is clear that with many goals there was no defender near him in a 3 meter radius. The question for next season is: Does he create this space himself, or did defenders underestimate him throughout last season? My opinion is that it’s a combination of both, where Belotti will find it more difficult to get the same amount of space next year. What is out of the question, however, is that he is the kind of striker we need. A striker that puts himself in a scoring position without necessarily being highly technical on the ball. At the moment, Belotti is a €50m striker, with the potential of being a €100m striker if he confirms next season. Cairo is gambling with inflated purchase prices, like he always does. However, Belotti bleeds red and black so that kind of justifies a higher selling price. Why not offer €50m + Paletta, Locatelli with buyback option, Montolivo and Sosa?
Aubameyang’s position is unique. There is no way that Dortmund can replace him and while he’s got a different profile from Belotti he would definitely hit double figures in the Serie A. However, we should not forget that spending €70.000.000 on a 28-year old that might see his speed (one of his best traits) diminish over the next three years might not prove to be a sound strategy either. However, I believe that if he performs well in these three years he can easily earn back his price tag and wage. It’s players like Aubameyang that will make Milan supporters flock to the stadium and buy tickets, much like they are doing right now with the return against Craiova.
Kalinic is not an option, due to various reasons. His age, but also the fact that he did not play very impressively last season. He would be a great player off the bench, but I fail to see why we would sell Bacca for €18m to then buy Kalinic for €2m more. I’d much rather keep Bacca as a benching option then.
What are our other options? I do not understand why we have not seen Michy Batshuayi? He would cost around €50m, has proven himself in three different leagues averaging one goal in three games with Chelsea even though he barely played and received short subs or starters to prove himself. Furthermore, in ligue 1 he averaged nearly one goal every 2 games and played over 30 games in his last season while keeping his good form and physicality. If you have seen his pre-season games where he destroyed Arsenal, I do not get why Chelsea was seeking to replace him with Lukaku even though I feel Lukaku is a great player. Michy is only 23, has great potential and while he’s not the exact profile we need in combination with Andre Silva he has a habit of hitting double figures just like Aubameyang.
Our final option would be Diego Costa, who has a reputation as a rebel and has been taunting his current employer over snapchat, Instagram and twitter over the past few weeks. While he showed his goal scoring ability last season, he was pointed out as one of the main instigators of the locker room anarchy in 2015/2016. While there are rumours of a 6-month loan, I feel like we need to save the millions in wages that this would cost us and immediately go for a permanent solution that will not potentially upset our locker room. We might as well get Balotelli back if we’re gambling like that.
My favourite is Belotti, even though I believe Aubameyang is the safer option for now. However, the smartest option in my opinion would be Michy Batshuayi who already has what it takes, with great movement on the ball and a lightning strike.
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.