Despite news and statements that have filtered to the contrary, the a Champions League place is a requirement for AC Milan this season.
Stefano Pioli stated after the 0-0 draw against Cagliari on Sunday that finishing fifth ‘would not be a failure’ for Milan as they have sewn the seeds for future progress, and back in March the club’s president Paolo Scaroni revealed that a Champions League return has not been budgeted for.
According to il Corriere della Sera (via MilanNews), the growth of Pioli’s Milan is there for all to see, but the coach is the first to know that all the difference in the world passes between Champions League and non-Champions League.
It is not just a question of results, but rather €50m are riding on the outcome of Sunday’s game, on which the construction of the team of the future depends and the summer market to come. If the Scudetto was not an obligation, the return to the Champions League is.