The Rossoneri managers, Paolo Maldini, Frederic Massara and their team of collaborators which includes the scouting department, have been having a busy summer so far. The club management is working to identify talents and profiles that would help the squad improve next season.
First, to replace the exit of Gianluigi Donnarumma, Milan signed Mike Maignan from Lille for a fee around 15 million euros with bonuses included as per sources, then activated the buy-option to sign Fikayo Tomori for a total transfer cost reportedly set at 28 million euros from Chelsea after an impressive loan spell at the club. Then, the AC Milan management worked on confirming Brahim Diaz‘ stay and managed to snatch him on a 2-year-loan deal.
Sandro Tonali was also signed by the club in a deal that saw Maldini succeed in getting an important discount and letting go of Primavera star Giacomo Olzer to Brescia while also reserving the buy-back option.
AC Milan did not stop there and signed the experienced striker Olivier Giroud from Chelsea and Fodé Ballo-Touré as a deputy to Theo Hernandez.
The club also succeeded to renew the contract of the regular starter on the right defensive area Davide Calabria.
Next, the idea is to work on the roster available right now, starting with the exits. A few departures have been made already in the First Team, like that of Diego Laxalt who went on a definitive transfer to Dynamo Moscow while Lorenzo Colombo moved on loan to the Serie B side SPAL in order to gain experience and playing time.
Moreover, Jens Petter Hauge is due to join Eintracht Frankfurt for a fee around 12 million euros. Milan signed him for a fee close to 4.5 million euros, and a important capital gain should be collected and registered in the balance sheet and books at Casa Milan.
The Norwegian departure could mean that Rafael Leao will be set to remain for the next season as he is determined to fight for a spot within the team and show his worth to coach Pioli who always had faith in his potential and declared many times that there is always room to improve.
Then, there is the situation of Mattia Caldara, close to signing for newly promoted Serie A team Venezia on loan with an option to buy. His teammate Andrea Conti is also on the transfer list. The Italian fullback did not impress very much at Parma who did not purchase his card as they failed to stay in Serie A.
Samu Castillejo, despite having plenty of First Team football, never managed to convince the coaching staff at Milanello and is on the exit list. Reportedly, few Spanish clubs are on him. However, no offer has been received so far.
A player whose future is much talked about in the media, is Tommaso Pobega. The Italian youngster played a positive season at La Spezia, and it seems that, now, Milan could let the player stay for the new season, unless a very attractive economic offer is received for the Primavera graduate whose sale would mean registering great capital gains.
After making some sales, Milan should be able to help fund some important moves to complete the squad and have room to welcome new players. We are talking about signing an attacking midfielder with the likes of Nikola Vlasic, Hakim Ziyech, Marcel Sabitzer being monitored.
Paolo Maldini and Ricky Massara could also choose to go into the market looking for a good opportunity to sign a deputy to Davide Calabria in the right-back position with Diogo Dalot being at the top of the list and Alvaro Odriozola also being a candidate.
In case of finding a buyer for Castillejo, Milan should also look to buy a quality right-winger to occupy the flank with Alexis Saelemakers. In this sense, Josip Ilicic is a strong name who can also play as an attacking midfielder.
As for the attack, the club is not done after bringing Olivier Giroud. Many reports have claimed that Milan is looking to sign a young centre-forward to grow and learn from the 34-year-old Frenchman, former frontman of Chelsea, and the Swede veteran Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
The idea for the club is to provide a quality and competitive squad for coach Stefano Pioli with at least 2 players per each position. Depth is key, it is needed for the new season, especially in view of the Champions League competition.
But, confirming the stay of star players are required to start the season well. AC Milan is in talks with Franck Kessié‘s agent to extend the star midfielder’s contract. The club is also is not forgetting the contractual situation of Simon Kjaer who also has a contract expiring next year, like Kessié. To keep a squad strong, the pillars must be confirmed to keep the balance of this winning team intact.
For now, Pioli has to think about the friendly games and about preparing the tactical plans as well as evaluating his team’s conditions as the new season’s official start is approaching.