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Milan scraped through another narrow win and beat Sassuolo 1-0 in week 26. Bacca converted a penalty not long after Domenico Berardi missed his own. For once Berardi didn’t score against Milan and Milan got another much needed three points. The bigger news of the week has not been about anything happening on the pitch however, more on that below.
The injury situation has alleviated somewhat with De Sciglio and Romagnoli back to the fold for this Chievo match. Abate, with an eye injury is out of the running for at least one week. Paletta or Zapata will start alongside the Romagnoli with De Sciglio and Vangioni the full backs. In midfield Locatelli’s short exile to the bench is set to end. The teenager is set to get his first start in nearly one month. Sosa retains his spot but as a mezzala with Bertolacci the other midfielder. Up front Bacca, Suso and Deulofeu will once again needed to provide the goals.
As mentioned above the big news of the week concerned the 800 days and counting team sale saga. At the beginning of the week all seemed a go, finally the sale closing was within sight. The money transfer and the news conference including flown in journalists were all set for a final signing off before this Chievo match, but things unraveled quickly. News and rumours of an investor, possibly China Construction Bank, withdrawing came through and uncertainty took over. Sino-Europe Sports led by Yonghong Li now lacked funds and the already existing doubts kept growing and no one was sure what would happen. News that Berlusconi would pull the plug completely was countered by the possibility of a new deadline and/or deal that would be agreed to if another €100 million was paid in seven days. Most on the outside, including fans, had and have found it hard to believe that the €200 million paid already would come to nothing and hoped for a miracle of sorts. Sino-Europe Sports’ lack of transparency had always made this deal one to be unsure of and now more than ever few actually believe that the Chinese deal would be a good option for Milan’s future, if the deal is still possible at all. Can Berlusconi look for and find another group now? Can Nicholas Gancikoff, involved in the take over deal until last summer, make another come back? If Fininvest and Berlusconi do keep the team what will the team look like in a year or later? Milan is at a crisis point off the pitch while it collects points on the pitch.