Devil’s Advocate: Maldini and Boban clear the decks – €80m in savings, sale now inevitable?

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan directors Zvonomir Boban and Paolo Maldini have gone about clearing the decks ahead of the summer transfer window.

As per Luca Pagni’s editorial for TMW, the duo – through operations they hope will end favourably – could build a kitty of up to €80million.

The exits of Fabio Borini to Hellas Verona (€3.6m inonthe balance sheet and €4.3m gross salary), Pepe Reina to Aston Villa on loan (€2.6m gross salary saved for 6 months) and Mattia Caldara to Atalanta (almost €6m saved salary) equates to around €16m in savings.

Assuming Ricardo Rodriguez leaves for PSV Eindhoven before tomorrow’s 8pm deadline, more can also be added (€7m plus €3.7m gross salary).

The most significant figures however come from the departures of for Suso and Krzysztof Piatek. For the Spaniard -who was entered on the balance sheet for a residual of €600,000 – Milan were able to get €22m, which would be a full gain in the event of Sevilla buying him at the end of his loan.

It is slightly more complicated for Piatek, whose €3.1m gross salary is saved. Hertha Berlin has agreed to pay €28m plus bonuses, which allows Milan to exit the operation on the Polish striker without a loss.

The only unknown at present is the negotiation for Lucas Paqueta, who could leave on a six-month loan which would mean even more saved on wages.

Milan have turned the page on the Chinese ownership and also from the Leonardo-led market last January, whether you view his €70m investment on Piatek and Paqueta as a mistake or not.

Some may also speculate that what we are witnessing is a clearing of the decks. The replacements heavily linked at present are right midfielder Alexis Saelemaekers and left-back Antonee Robinson of Wigan.

Interestingly, both are tipped to join on loan with option to buy, implying they are temporary solutions and may not even stay beyond June. Could it be that Maldini and Boban have been told not to think beyond the summer, because something could come along by then to influence the way the club runs?

For those who believe the sale of the club is firmly on the cards – be it to Bernard Arnault or to a currently unnamed party – this does little other than provide them with ammunition.

Tags AC Milan Paolo Maldini Zvonomir Boban