The project that has been instilled since Elliott Management took control of Milan has been based around building a competitive squad full of young players but doing so within sensible financial parameters and with a reasonable wage bill.
As Calciomercato.com writes, Maldini and Massara carried this on into January as they made three targeted signings to increase the depth available to Stefano Pioli and help Milan in the race for the top four, and perhaps even a Scudetto dream.
“When we talk about self-sustainability, we don’t mean an end, but a means,” CEO Ivan Gazidis said just over a month ago. The importance of financial balance has always been high on his agenda, and it can be seen in the January recruitment too.
Mario Mandzukic came on a free transfer, Soualiho Meite on loan for €1million (option to buy set at €8-9m) plus the same for Fikayo Tomori (option to buy €26m). Total expenditure: €2m. Then we add the salaries: €1.8m for the Croatian, €550k for the Ivorian, the same amount for the Englishman. Total: €2.85m.
In terms of exits, Leo Duarte, Andrea Conti and Mateo Musacchio were the three major farewells. Although the trio were not playing a big role, their departure is significant from an economic point of view.
The departure of the Brazilian defender saves Milan €900k net (salary of €1.85m gross per season), the sale of Musacchio to Lazio collects €1million in payment and saves €1.85m gross, while Conti to Parma deserves further analysis.
The full-back has gone to Parma loan with the right to buy set at €7million which becomes an obligation in the event they stay up. In case of his permanent exit, the Rossoneri will record a capital gain of €4.01m (€2.16m for amortisation plus €1.85m gross for the salary). From now to June, therefore, gross savings will be €4.6m – a figure very close to that spent on Mandzukic, Meite and Tomori.
In a way it mirrors the window of a year ago when Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Simon Kjaer and Alexis Saelemaekers arrived on simply loan fees before the latter two were signed permanently. A huge €29m was earned from sales (Piatek plus Rodriguez) and €22.6m gross saved from the salaries of Reina, Caldara, Suso, Piatek, Rodriguez and Borini.