During the summer transfer window AC Milan had little money to invest and they opted instead to sell stars, such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva, to rebalance the budget, which had been weighed down heavily by large investments in the past. The situation has not drastically changed at the start of 2013, but Milan, sitting seventh in Serie A and drawn against Barcelona in the Champions League Round of 16, have a season to save.
We look at Milan’s potential winter window targets and the chances of them landing at Milanello.
Mario Balotelli – Striker – Manchester City – Contract until 2015
Balotelli has always presented himself as a “true Milanista” and recently vice-president Adriano Gallaini commented: “I love him”. But president Silvio Berlusconi, talking after a training ground bust-up between Balotelli and Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini, declared: “I have always had doubts about Balotelli, not as a player, but as a man, because of his particular personality. He is not one of our targets. I do not know if his personality can fit with the other guys at Milanello.” In so doing, Berlusconi may have closed the door on Balotelli coming to Milan and in addition, Brazilian striker Robinho has decided to stay at the club and not head back to his beloved Santos in Brazil. Now Milan have five attacking players (Giampaolo Pazzini, Bojan Krkic, Stephan El Shaarawy and M’Baye Niang), which is probably enough for the current season. Furthermore, at the beginning of December 2012, Galliani asked Manchester City about Balotelli, but they replied with an asking price of £37M – far too much for the Rossoneri at present.
Chances of moving to AC Milan in January: 2/10
Didier Drogba – Striker -Shanghai Shenhua – Contract until 2014 (free to move)
Recently the Ivorian international exclaimed: “The history of Italian football is AC Milan and Juventus.” Both are interested in Drogba, but the Bianconeri are probably slightly keener, especially if they are unable to sign Fernando Llorente from Athletic Bilbao this month. Berlusconi has also stated that Milan want to begin a new cycle with young players, while Drogba is 34 and earns €12M per year in China – not an affordable wage for the Rossoneri or any club in Italy. The former Chelsea striker does want to return to Europe though and is interested in playing in Serie A.
Chances of moving to AC Milan in January: 2/10
Cristian Zaccardo – Defender – Parma – Contract until 2014
The Rossoneri are on the lookout for a defender who can play across the defensive line. Zaccardo is a target, because he is comfortable not just on the right, but also in the centre, where now Daniele Bonera, Mario Yepes and Cristian Zapata are injured. The defender won the World Cup with Italy’s national team in 2006 and, after an important spell at Palermo, moved to Wolfsburg in Germany. Zaccardo returned to Italy at Parma and is now well experienced in a number of different roles. Milan are keen, especially as Ignazio Abate and Luca Antonini could well move to Russian clubs.
Chances of moving to AC Milan in January: 7/10
Radja Nainggolan – Midfielder – Cagliari – Contract until 2014
The Belgian midfielder with Indonesian roots is an interesting prospect for the Rossoneri and a typical modern engine-room schemer. Nainggolan can play as a “regista” in front of the defence and has a good mix of skills. He would prove quite expensive at around the €20M mark, but Milan are looking at the player as a replacement for the injured Nigel de Jong, who is out for the season. Galliani enjoys a good relationship with Cagliari president Massimo Cellino, and the Rossoneri could certainly acquire Nainggolan – and if not now, then next summer.
Chances of moving to AC Milan in January: 6/10
Kevin Strootman – Midfielder – PSV Eindhoven – Contract until 2014
The 22-year-old Dutch midfielder is viewed in Milan as the natural successor of Mark van Bommel, who left the club last summer and is now with Strootman at PSV Eindhoven. Strootman is one of Galliani’s main future targets, with the idea being to play him alongside Riccardo Montolivo and Antonio Nocerino in midfield. The midfielder is well aware he is wanted, commenting: “I know that some important clubs are tracking me and I am happy about that, but I want to stay here until the end of the season and I am thinking only about PSV until May.”
Chances of moving to AC Milan in January: 3/10
Davide Santon – Defender – Newcastle United – Contract until 2016
Santon is the surprise candidate of the month, especially as he developed at Milan’s rivals Inter and made his debut in Serie A under Jose Mourinho, who nicknamed him “il bambino” (the child). In a recent interview, Berlusconi targeted Santon and named him along with El Shaarawy as the type of players to make up the future Milan – young, professional and skilful. Milan need to reinforce their flanks and if Santon moves from Newcastle to Milanello, Mattia De Sciglio, the 20-year-old whose development is one of the most positive points of the season for coach Massimiliano Allegri, could shift to the left.
Chances of moving to AC Milan in January: 4/10
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