Ceccarini gives insight on Pioli’s future, summer targets and idea of Tonali-esque sale

By Oliver Fisher -

Tuttomercatoweb director Niccolò Ceccarini has answered a number of questions about the moves that AC Milan could make heading into the summer.

As we enter the business end of the season, there are a few things up in the air about the Milan of 2024-25 even if there are important games still to be played and objectives to fight for.

For example, it is not yet certain whether Stefano Pioli will remain as the head coach into the last year of his current contract. The fan base seem split on whether he is the best man for the job, with a six-game winning run coming after a difficult winter.

Then, there is the centre-forward issue to address. Olivier Giroud’s deal runs out at the end of the season and there is widespread speculation suggesting that a big investment in a striker will be made.

Ceccarini spoke to MilanNews about various topics from the season that Milan have had so far to Pioli’s future and what the summer mercato might bring.

How can we evaluate this season for Milan?

“There was a period of difficulty in November, but from December onwards the results arrived. Of course, there is the regret of not having qualified for the Champions League round of 16.

“But now there is the possibility of moving forward in the Europa League and maybe try to win it, while in the leagie Milan from the point of view of value cannot be considered a team that can win the Scudetto, because there are clubs that have a stronger team.

“If Milan will qualify for the Champions League, maybe as second and were to win the Europa League the season would be more than positive. If these results were not to arrive, it is clear that a reflection should be made.”

Despite everything, Pioli’s popularity among the fans is mixed. Do you think his era is over?

“In my opinion, Pioli is an excellent coach and he has demonstrated it. He achieved a great feat by winning the Scudetto, he went further and now the results are proving him right. Let’s see what will happen in these last two months. Then, in an absolute sense , after many years the cycles can even end”.

Do you think Milan have already made a decision on the coach’s future?

“There are many clubs for which it is difficult to imagine the future, including Milan who seem to me to be taking their time. Rightly so, because they want to have clear ideas. In my opinion they haven’t made the decision yet, they are in the reflection phase at a key moment.”

Giroud will leave for MLS. Could he have been useful as a ‘mother hen’ for a new striker?

“The idea was to keep Giroud and perhaps sign another striker while also having the Frenchman’s experience available. But in the end, the decisions are made by the players and if they feel to go somewhere else you have to respect their choice.

“Milan are observing many players abroad and is making many evaluations. Last year with the sale of Tonali important players such as Loftus-Cheek and Pulisic arrived, who are making the difference.

“Reijnders too. Maybe something more was expected from Chukwueze, even if he played a great match in Florence.”

The search for a new striker starts now. What’s the latest?

“They have a name in mind, which is Zirkzee. It should be remembered that Bologna must allocate 40% of the future resale to Bayern. As a result they will raise the price.

“He is the basic idea, but I think they have at least 2-3 names they are working on because a club like Milan cannot have just one attacking option. And then we need to understand what Jovic’s future will be.”

Is there a risk that the purchase of a striker will be financed by a big sale, like that of Maignan or Théo?

“Last year with Tonali’s sale they made a good team, buying many interesting players who allowed them to enrich the technical level.

“I start from the assumption that if you get an offer above market value you have to take it into consideration. As in the case of Tonali one year ago. Even if the idea is to keep Maignan and Théo, trying to renew their contract.

“So I believe that the initial strategy is to buy a great striker regardless. Also because with access to the next Champions League there will still be significant revenues.”

In addition to a striker, do you think Milan could sign players in other areas?

“I think another great objective is the central defender. Already in January, Milan had thought about Buongiorno but it is clear that the operation would have been very complicated, both due to the cost and Torino’s desire not to deprive themselves of the player.

“I think that Buongiorno represents the dream for the summer, but I believe that cheaper players such as Brassier and Lacroix and some free transfers such as Adarabioyo and Kelly should also be monitored.”


Tags AC Milan Joshua Zirkzee


  1. The problem that this team has is that it cannot defend deep very well. Leaving aside Kjaer, and maybe Gabbia, I don’t think that Tomori and Thiaw are very good at doing it.

    Add to this that our midfield also doesn’t provide a lot of filter and it becomes the answer why we suffer so much when a good team is able to ignore our full-field pressing.

    This is also the reason why we play from the back, we want to invite the other team to attack us so that if the ball goes to Leao, he’d have more space for dribbling/running.

    If we buy a solid defender (Buongiorno) and a solid DM (someone like a young Kante would be ideal :D) , that might allow us to win games by playing counter-attack and saving energies (and reducing injuries). Getting these two players might end up being more important than getting a very good striker, though I wouldn’t say no to a very good striker which would help beating those park-the-bus teams in Serie A.

Comments are closed

Serie A Standings

Live football scores . Current table, fixtures & results.