GdS: ‘Nobody unsellable’ – difficult renewals and big offers could see stars depart Milan

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan’s exit against Roma in the Europa League is one that will force profound reflections not only on the future of Stefano Pioli and the summer signings, but also players who could leave.

As La Gazzetta dello Sport (seen below) write this morning, at Milan there are no untransferable players. Even more so if the stars of the team shine every other games, while the big names in Europe look on with interest.

Well, in the last two Thursdays of the month it was pitch dark in the Milan sky: from Rafael Leao to Theo Hernandez, from Olivier Giroud to Ismael Bennacer, the team collapsed also because its pillars collapsed in the first moments of difficulty.

There are some already certain farewells: Olivier Giroud has chosen Los Angeles FC, he will say goodbye at the end of the season, as will Simon Kjaer and potentially Luka Jovic too, both of whom have deals expiring in June like the Frenchman.

Renewal difficulties

Milan has no renewal urgency on the agenda, but the cases of Maignan and Hernandez are floating dangerously. Both Mike and Theo have contracts expiring in 2026, there are still two years left but accelerating in the next few months is essential to avoid time pressures.

The Rossoneri they planned to meet the agents of the two Frenchmen between the first leg and second leg of the Europa League quarter-finals but those meetings were postponed. The next few weeks instead will be crucial.

Both Theo and Maignan are happy at Milan, but both expect growth: in ambition – they won the Scudetto at the Rossoneri but that wasn’t enough – and in the amount that they are paid.

Maignan aspires to earn more than double the current €3.2m, Hernandez is already the highest paid in the squad after Leao (€4.5m against Rafa’s €7m) and would like to get closer to the Portuguese winger.

Milan reflects, while they also reflect in Munich: Bayern will soon have two ‘holes’ given that Neuer is now at the end of his career and Alphonso Davies could leave, and the two Milan players are at the top of the preference list. PSG remain in the background, and €100m offers would be listened to.

The €175m man

For Rafa Leao there is no need to set a price: the €175m clause, implement in last year’s renewal, perfectly frames the Rossoneri’s evaluation for their No.10.

The Portuguese winger alternated great moments (the overhead kick against PSG, the evenings as a driving force in the Europa League between the play-offs and the round of 16) with some less positive nights.

The most recent disasters took place in the two legs against Roma and Leao divided the fans again. The debate revolves around a question: what to do with a player like Rafa, a potential champion but not enough time to become one in all respects? Build a team around him or sell him, to cash in and reinvest?

The question will be answered by Milan, the new coach and obviously the moves of Leao’s admirers. PSG lead the group of interested clubs, but watch out for the English: Chelsea’s passion for Leao has never waned, while Manchester United could join the race.

The other doubts

The list of players who could leave at the end of the season extends to midfield and defence. In midfield, Ismael Bennacer has a situation to monitor. For him, Saudi Arabia is an option that sooner or later will be topical.

Bennacer is obviously a valued player and, for footballing and life reasons, is interested in a future in Saudi Arabia. Will it happen next summer? The Algerian’s idea is to move stay for now but, in the event of an offer from one of Riyadh’s top clubs, a surprise can not be ruled out.

Surprises cannot be ruled out in the centre of defence either. Fikayo Tomori, Pierre Kalulu and Malick Thiaw are situations to monitor, but the Englishman is the one destined to lead the department for a long time to come.

Kalulu is, in terms of characteristics, the most compatible with the aggressive and fast Milan that Giorgio Furlani, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Geoffrey Moncada plan for the post-Pioli side.

Thiaw, who established himself during the use of the three-man defence in 2023 and never really shined this season, could depart. The German is liked in the Premier League and Milan – who paid €5m to sign him – could obtain a capital gain from his sale.

Other millions could come from the permanent sales of Charles De Ketelaere and Alexis Saelemaekers, while the old flops like Divock Origi are destined to return to base.

Tags AC Milan Mike Maignan Rafael Leao Theo Hernandez


  1. hope to see the portugese prima donna leave. id take even 100m
    he hasnt improved an inch since the scudetto season. the dream of him becoming a world beater is just that

  2. I agree. I’d put Maignan, Thiaw and Leao on the market. Get the money and reinvest. Di Gregorio from Monza is solid. Scalvini from Atalanta would be a good CB. Okafor can develop on the left. We can buy a new backup left winger to support him.

  3. Selling Theo, Leao and Tomori should be out of question. I’d like to keep Maignan as well, but with his demands, it seems more and more unlikely, and a goalkeeper is always easier to replace.
    Calabria is out captain, one of the very few italians remaining and one of the very few players in our team willing to fight for the badge. He might not be the most technical fullback out there and he is certainly not fast, but he remains an important part of th team. More or less the same for Gabbia.
    There is a lot of criticism has been said about Thiaw, Bennacer and Kalulu who struggle to regain their best form. I have not given up on them, but I think a very good offer for either of them or all of them should be considered. Their positions are also already filled with many players.
    I don’t think any of the new players is gonna be sold this summer, but if I had to pick one, maybe it will be Musah. I don’t hate the kid, he seems promising, but I think he is the most expendable.

  4. The way I look at it…

    Out: CDK, Alexis, Florenzi, Origi, Ballo Toure, Kjaer, Florenzi, Bennacer (unfortunately), Pobega, Giroud, Adli,

    Question Marks Over: Kalulu, Thiaw. Terraciano, Maignan (depending on renewal), Gabbia(depth?), Jovic(depth?)

    IN: CF(2?), DM(2?), CB(2?), LB backup, RB backup.

    1. Florenzi i dont think will out , no club want to buy him and his contract expire in 2025. Just one from benna or adili will out ( high chance that would be benna )

    2. Is Florenzi so bad according to you that you had to mention him twice ?
      Gabbia is currently our best CB after Tomori, I don’t see a good reason selling him. Also considering UEFA lists, Milan DNA and other stuff, that’s the more reason to keep him.

  5. ACM dont need to sell their keyplayer to fund transfer budget ,just sell the loan player like CDK,saladmaker,ballotoure,origi,colombo. For bennacer thats depend on player himself want to go to saudi pro league like mahrez or stay at ACM . Selling your best player like maignan ,theo,tijani,leao are crazy idea ( except if their contract left 1 years and still refuse renew)

  6. I thought Furla I said there are some untouchables, so should we take this as his comments were smoke and mirrors.

    Or is this another one of those groundless articles meant to generate traffic.

  7. “Both Theo and Maignan are happy at Milan, but both expect growth”

    Sure. Fans and management expect growth too. Players earning the most need to show their worth week in, week out. Neither of them do that now. More money, more good performances. Especially when it’s needed. Like on Thursday.

    1. Not to defend their abysmal performances of Thursday and also some of their other bad performances, but the return leg against Roma was so bad tactically wise and the subs even more confusing, that I don’t know if any other player instead of them could have done it better. No player understood what to do and I don’t think even Pioli understood the tactics he himself put.
      To say it again, when 1, 2 or even 3 players have an abysmal performances, they should be blamed for it, but when an entire team performs like we did Thursday night, the system and tactics are clearly the major problem.
      I do however find their lack of fighting spirit shameful.

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