The off season is nearing an end and the real games will start in less than two weeks. The team building and rebuilding has not been exactly very active but the squad is taking shape and the recent friendly, a 2-0 win at KF Feronikeli, provided another look at Giampaolo’s ideas. The opposition was obviously not the strongest and the squad is still not complete but Suso provided encouraging looks, so did new arrival Rafael Leao. Bonaventura also seems to be in good form, especially for a player who hasn’t played in months. However, Kessie and Bennacer have not even played yet and trained very little due to national team commitments.
The friendly will have served its purpose and the team will continue to learn the coach’s system. The question that Milan and its management still haven’t fully answered is about those leaving. Andre Silva was of course close to Monaco but negotiations failed and obviously not due to a medical issue because the player trained soon after and has played in the preseason. Finding a destination for him seems even more difficult now that English transfer window is closed.
Besides the Portuguese there have been whispers that Suso might leave. His coach insists that the Spaniard is valuable in his system but the greater concern is the numbers quoted in aforementioned rumours. They are simply too low. Rumours indicate Milan would be willing to sell him for €32 million. This figure might be very profitable in Financial Fair Play terms but much like Kessie’s rumoured asking price of €28 million undervalues the player. Suso was bought for relative peanuts of around €1 million over four years ago. A €32 million would be a big profit and in terms of FFP an even more positive on the balance sheet. In almost the same way that Cutrone’s €18 million sale to Wolves was a massive profit – since the forward was brought up in Milan’s own system. Creative FFP accounting works by spreading a transfer fee over the life of the contract therefore and for example in the oft mentioned Andre Silva case his €38 million transfer with a 5 year contract reflects as €22.8 million now (38 divided by 5 is 7.6 and it has been two years since the fee was paid therefore 38-(7.6*2) equals 22.8). Any outgoing transfer of over €22.8 million counts as a profit for the coming season. All these calculations however don’t reflect the true value of Suso and Kessie (and perhaps even Silva). Further the somewhat persistent rumours of Correa arriving for about €40 million or so entitles everybody to wonder why Suso could be cheaper than the Argentinian.
Other candidates for the exit door include Strinic, Laxalt and Rodriguez, perhaps even Castillejo. Two of the first three are surely dispensable as Hernandez (if healthy) can claim the starting left back spot.
In the meanwhile Leo Duarte was made official so the central defence spot is more secure and this is especially good since Musacchio hasn’t been at his best during the preseason.
More movement is expected before the window closes and rumours of a surprise, Mr.X type, signing have popped up a few times. They are supported by hints given by Boban that Elliott will try to find more (important) players this summer. Modric? Rakitic? Unlikely but stay tuned.