GdS: ‘€107m revolution’ – how the sale of Tonali has funded an ambitious mercato

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan have been the most active of the big Serie A clubs when it comes to the summer window, and Sandro Tonali’s sale has financed the six signings so far.

La Gazzetta dello Sport (seen below) have dedicated a double page spread to Milan’s busy start to the summer, titled: ‘€107m revolution. Tonali funds the signings. Chukwueze most expensive and it’s not over yet.’

The first training session in Los Angeles was a bridge between the past and the future as Stefano Pioli met up with Rafael Leao, Mike Maignan, Olivier Giroud and all the internationals once again, reunited after their extended break.

Tonight he will see Noah Okafor, who will arrive in the United States with his No.17 shirt, inherited from his almost-friend Rafaed Leao. Very soon, he will shake hands with Samuel Chukwueze too, who Milan plan to sign early next week and fly out.

Milan have spent almost €100m in this summer window already, over €100m when factoring in the bonuses. The sale of Tonali has financed a varied market, with five paid-for signings – counting Chukwueze – plus Luka Romero and Marco Sportiello on a free.

Milan have spent a lot and can soon breathe. The management will close the Chukwueze deal with Villarreal and then it will be about fine-tuning and seizing any opportunities that might pop up.

A deputy left-back is needed but Riccardo Calafiori of Basel still doesn’t convince everyone, while Yunus Musah could arrive to complete the midfield and even a young striker too. To invest again, it will be necessary to sell.

CEO Giorgio Furlani and chief scout Geoffrey Moncada – who directs the market with sporting director Antonio D’Ottavio as his right hand man – are taking an obvious path with their signings so far.

Loftus-Cheek is 27 years old, Chukwueze, Pulisic and Reijnders 24, Okafor 23. Young but not inexperienced players, who can be sold in two, three, five years, with ample room for growth.

It’s a risk but it’s a calculated, deliberate risk for a club that by corporate choice will not blow up its budget and will always have sustainability as its guiding spirit.

As of the spring, a €40m net spend market was expected, in line with the plans of Paolo Maldini and Ricky Massara, and this will probably be the case. Then, the €70m obtained from the sale of Tonali will be added those from the other exits, with the first news expected shortly.

Matteo Gabbia will play tonight against Real Madrid and then go on loan to Villarreal (nice challenge). With purchases around €100m, the math says that the Rossoneri are close to their limit. However, their work might not be done.

Tags AC Milan


  1. Chucw, Okafor, Pulisic looks way better than Arnautovic, Berardi and Kamada (good player though) even if I was against Maldini’s leaving I have to admit this transfer window looks way better than what he planned to do, too bad we had to sell Tonali so get the money. I feel like the mildfield is still weak, why not get Arabat or Dominquez instead of Musah? If they ask over 25 mil for him

    1. It’s not about the individual signings all of whom seem decent if lacking Serie A experience.

      It’s the number of them.

      Had we just signed say Pulisic he’d have performed at a higher level but instead we’ve drowned him out by signing 10 others so now we have 10 players trying to settle at once.

      Italian food famously focuses on quality over quantity. It’s a shame the same rule isn’t applied to football. Anyone want Parmesan on their prawn linguine? Americans do.

      1. ? I guess youd rather have poor depth and go back to Leao Giroud Messias/Saele our only starting as our only usable attacking players

        1. The “depth” argument is used to justify numerous transfers which benefits agents.

          We had a squad that was capable of making to the semi-finals of the Champions League as evidenced by the fact that we did in fact (and it is a fact) make it to the semi-finals of Champions League.

          The rest is speculation. You’re speculating these transfers are going to be a raging success, and I am speculating that you can’t change 50% of your first team squad and expect to challenge for anything serious (as evidenced when we did the exact same thing in 17/18 and finished 6th).

          1. Yeah, I share your opinion. Football is so pragmatic now, no feelings, ruled by corrupted institutions, money over everything, transfers everywhere so agents and players can cash in, culture of instant gratification. See how many incoming players are qualified as “player with potential to be sold for profits”. It’s like investing on crypto. Does it make any difference that a player is attached to his team? No, because money, so he’s sold anyway. Maybe soon we’ll see players changing team every week like in NBA.

          2. should’ve done it like your Maldini, sign an useless player like CDK at the end of August and then cry about depth throughout the season and struggle every time there’s a mid week fixture

            You keep complaining like Milan didnt need this much depth and we were fine with the current players.

      2. With all due respect but i qm already yawning.

        Everyone knew with or without Maldini and Tonali we needed to strengthen the squad and the depth, and this is whats happening, but i would say much better then Arautobitch and some other names we were hearing. There is some science and logic behind all this.

        Some may not perform this very next season but some may surprise us. Rebuilding and entering a new cycle is not easy for any team or bidget in the world

        1. That’s what I said, we finally have players to replace Giroud and Leao and a decent right winger last season we struggled so much when Leao wasn’t available . Still I am not expecting big things from the beginning some of them will make an instead impact others may need more time also there is KDC who may surprise us this season

        2. I am not disputing we needed 1 or 2 signings. We didn’t need 10 or more.

          As for the “depth” argument, how do we even know what level the squad players were given they rarely played and when they did play it was part of an entirely new team v an established team of highly trained elite athletes playing in the top 5 league?

          1. I font think your math plays out. We practically lost 3 players: Tonali (sold), Brahim (back to Madrid), Bennacer (injured + African cup), plus no reliability from the likes of Origi or Rebic. So far I personally think they made a great job in covering present and hopefully future, providing for a competitive team on three fronts (serie a, coppa Italia and Champions League) all the while allowing players to improve and hopefully also create an economic sustainability. Personally I prefer this approach to the modern PSG or other Petro companies using clubs like their playstation… Sadly Maldini made very poor investments which we all hoped to pay off (CDK, Origi, Adli) plus other operations that didn’t bring the hoped results (Brahim). So, considering the plan is to renew, I think the signings they made make perfect sense, and 2 players would have only been a possibile waste of money or very short sighted investment. Hopefully Rebic, Origi, Messias and Adli (though I was hoping to see more from him), will find a new club, and we will possibly get a new forward like Scamacca or similar. I doubt Giroud will manage to repeat his last year’s performance…

      3. I am not American:))), anyway I believe if they sign another midfielder and a decent back up for Theo we will have the squad complete and most important thing we finally have a good right wing with Puli and Chucw and a decent back up for Giroud. In theory the team looks good and the new place looks decent but we will see how many of them will actually adapt to seria A and if Ryan and Loftus can complete the empty whole left by Tonali and Bennacer… I think we have to have a bit of patience it is possible that the team won’t play very good at the beginning of season

      4. Haha I hope they told Jerry and Pulisic that you can get killed in Italy for asking mac’n’cheese at a restaurant.

        1. Ah yes..
          Bartololmeo and self proclaimed maldini’s heir
          Doom and gloom squad are together
          What a match made in heaven

          1. Ah yes, Malding the oberleutnant of the gestapo of the comment section. Jokes are also forbidden now? Please just tell us what we can and what we can’t say.

      5. Yes. Just Pulisic. And then 38 y/o Pulisic will be having to play his 40th game of the season by February, Krunic and Pobega would have been our midfield until January, the same Saladmaker and Messias who together produce less than Lecce’s Strefezza would be “battling” for RW and Leao would once again also play 60 games per season like Giroud because his backup is champion bench warmer Rebic. All play would go down the left with one-man team Leao, and somehow we’d win games despite every single opponent knowing what’s about to happen. It’s definitely a side that would have competed on all fronts.

      6. This is different compare to yonghong li era, even we get 10 players, the starting eleven for the newcomer just around 4/5 player maximum. And we still have our best player Like Leao, Giroud, Theo, and Maignan. They are the core of this team. Yeah we lost Tonali but now we can upgrade the lack in right side, the depth in midfield and striker.

      7. You do remember Napoli got rid of most of their “star” players and ended up winning, right? Just because you sign a ton of players doesn’t mean Milan is bound to fail. The players we have bought are players we have been needing for depth & depth is something we have been lacking in recent years. We need to take calculated risks and the management is doing that.

  2. Some are now singing a different tune and others have left the chorus all together. The true grade of this market can only be given when the dust settles next May, but it must be said: the American owners do seem to know what they are doing and are interested in building a competitive squad. In combination with an obvious determination to complete the stadium project, increase partnership revenues and media exposure, I’d say we should all be pleased thus far.

  3. At this point I’m somewhat indifferent between the two options…ie adding a couple pieces on top of existing or replacing almost half of the team (at the beginning I wasn’t simply because we had no clue what the direction of the club was). It’s really two sides of the same coin. Add SMS, RLC, Kamada and Berardi, keep the core and team chem but.the feel of same same old…..or we go with a blitz that adds enthusiasm with RLC, deer, Pulisic and I’m guessing Musah &Chuk. That’s great on paper if they all play to their potential but it’s a drop in familiarity and team Chem which shouldn’t be underestimated. And they chose the latter. Personally I’d choose the former but the alternative they’ve set now is a gamble that can pay big if it goes well

    1. Well said.

      Regardless this is the path so let’s hope for the best. I think we will be an exciting team and if everything comes together and those players stay healthy and are integrated into the team by Pioli we can def challenge for the Scudetto and perhaps make another deep UCL run. Just need to finalize Chukwueze, get a DM(Musah) get a back up LB and swap Messias + cash for Singo and I think we are done

      The question I am interested in is if this is our policy moving forward? Meaning we will have a yearly transfer budget of 35M and if we want to add more players we have to sell a core player?? It seems that is the case. Perhaps it’s a good formula perhaps not. We will see this season. But I think that is the expectation and what Redbird are saying. Should be interesting to see how it all plays out.

      Forza Milan

    2. Add SMS, berardi ,RLC ,Arnautovich,kamada are imposible without selling tonali or other starter player. SMS himself already cost 40m euro.The reason why we buy many player because last season we failed to fix even one position also loan player back to their parent club

  4. ACM signing player to fix depth , ppl say : they repeat yong hong li time ( finish 6th because sign 11 player) . ACM didnt buy player ,ppl say : wtf this redbird sucker pocket all tonali money to buy F1 share or this american want to get rich from selling player . It seems whatever management ACM doing are always wrong infront of them

  5. Fairly good transfer so far, but Milan haven’t done 1 more important thing: change the manager.
    We need a better manager to organize the players and tactics.
    We’ve seen it today as we’re beaten by Madrid 2-3. He’s done nothing when the team starting disorganized. He should’ve made the change earlier before, at least to save the game. It happened many times last season. Manager should do something when the team disorganized.
    But in fact, pioli is still there. So we’ll see how the season’s going.

    1. you are talking about the manager that brought you the tittle after 11 years and the manager that took you to the semi final of the champions league? have some respect for what he has done for this club in the past 3 years and with what he had to his disposal to do it with! besides leao, mike, theo,tomori and maybe tonali (as he didnt play well week in week out) and giroud that 6 players out of the 11 the rest were shocking last season and we still managed a top 4 finish & semis of champions?

      have respect for pioli and what his done and if you cant maybe you should go support a team like PSG that even if a manager wins everything he will still get sacked.

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