GdS: ‘Operation Relaunch’ – Milan planning €100m summer to get second star

By Oliver Fisher -

While Inter move rapidly towards getting a second star ahead of their rivals, the AC Milan management are planning their summer moves to try and respond instantly as they did in 2021-22.

This morning’s edition of La Gazzetta dello Sport (seen below) writes how Milan are focusing on securing a spot in next season’s Champions League and trying to win the Europa League, but thoughts inevitably drift towards next season.

The Rossoneri are reflecting on the future: the gap with Inter needs to be filled and in the summer it will be necessary to intervene with three or four quality reinforcements to bring Milan back to being a Scudetto contender.

The hunt for a 9

Firstly, they must sign a new striker because in the summer it is likely that Olivier Giroud or Luka Jovic (if not both) will say goodbye, and a new younger profile is needed to lead the line for the future.

In recent years, Milan have taken the safe route by relying on low-cost investments like Mario Mandzukic and Divock Origi – who both arrived on free transfers – but now the plan will change because the next striker will be under 25.

Two names above all stand out Joshua Zirkzee and Benjamin Sesko. The Slovenian from RB Leipzig has been followed for some time and, along the way, has gained positions over other old favourites such as Jonathan David.

The Dutchman of Bologna, however, is more convincing: he knows Serie A, he has become a leader for the Rossoblù and has the technical means to move in all areas of the attack.

Many have their eyes on him – from the Premier League to Bayern Munich, who boast a buy-back clause of €40m – but Zirkzee would look favourably on a move within Italy, before the big leap to England. At 22 years old, there is time to grow.

Bologna are likely to start with an asking price of €40m, but the feeling is that that figure is destined to rise. Instead, that amount could be enough to get to Sesko.

Holes in the defence

The big gap between Milan and the second star, however, is not really down to the problems in attack, but the limitations of the defence. The Rossoneri have conceded 32 goals, which is 20 more than those conceded by Inter and one more than those conceded by Milan in the entire Scudetto season.

A central defender will thus be the second priority of the summer window. After Sven Botman did not arrive last summer an investment in a new centre-back has been postponed several times but in June it will no longer be possible to wait.

In the front row there is Maxence Lacroix of Wolfsburg and Lilian Brassier of Brest. For the former, Milan tested the waters, on the second they negotiated with the French club in January. Both will expire in a year and this could allow the Rossoneri to obtain a discount on the price.

In the background, the free transfer option of Tosin Adarabioyo remains, who in June will be at the end of his contract with Fulham.

Other areas to strengthen

The midfield is full of options but must be completed with the purchase of a more physical player than those in the squad, someone who can act as a shield for the defence.

Then there is the left wing, where a deputy to Theo Hernandez is missing even after the signing of Filippo Terracciano who can play in that role.

The overall expense will be significant: more or less around €100m.

Tags AC Milan Benjamin Sesko Joshua Zirkzee Lilian Brassier Maxence Lacroix Tosin Adarabioyo


  1. Wonder how long it will take before “Operation Relaunch” becomes “Operation Miss Out on Targets (probably to Inter) and Desperately Sign Someone on a Free on Deadline Day”.

    1. Now that’s easy. It’ll take the whole mercato. Just like getting the new #9. Who is the 7th or 8th option by the way and definitely not the first one on the list. 🙂

  2. This GdS page is sensational BS honestly. Milan is in a mindset of building incrementally. Calling Sam and Noah flops is shortsighted. Jovic probably has the renewal ready and will stay as a super-sub until he can play convincingly a full 90. Giroud is one of the top scorers and can stay. Kjaer is getting old but still shows leadership and no one has a better long-passing ability.

    I watched the RBL vs Bayern game last week. Sesko was invisible in the first half and the second half was meager. The goal was scrappy and unconvincing. Not a good performance from him overall. It’s just one game, I’ll have a look at a few more.

  3. Priorities:
    1. Midfield: Needs two or three signings. The current bunch are just incompatible with each other. The players’ roles change every game and with every sub. No consistency in attacking threat, creativity, or defensive solidity. New defenders and new attackers will still struggle if we don’t fix this.

    2. Striker: With Giroud leaving and Jovic more of a super-sub poacher, we need a big signing. Zirkzee seems like the best target for us. Sesko is also a decent target. Duvan Zapata would be an amazing signing for the bench.

    3. Defense: No NEED for anything this summer. We have six center backs and four full-backs (six if we count Bartesaghi and Jimenez) ! They are consistently left hung out to dry by the midfield so I wouldn’t dwell too much on the goals conceded stats.

    1. I agree with you on Forwards (concept, not the names you mentioned) and Defenders. But I disagree on midfield.

      Our midfielders are playing their first season together and it takes time to get into a rhythm. We do need defensive mids for sure and maybe an alternate plan for RLC as he hasn’t been consistent.

  4. We don’t need that many reinforcements. What we do need is a DM and a new nr9. We also need to make sure players don’t have massive gaps between them. Playing the ball around in defense until you can’t and just kick the ball forward in the hopes someone will pick it up is a terrible way to play. Maybe stop playing the ball backward and start playing forward might be a good option too.

    Every damn newspaper, blog or pundit seems obsessed with Milan needing new players. We have plenty of quality players. How about being smarter with squad rotation? Maybe make sure we have ALOT less injured players? How about giving players like Musah a defined role instead of making him a stop-gap solution for every single position on the field? How about start using the players you bought and actually give them a chance to prove themselves (Terraciano/Pellegrino)?

    We don’t need to spend another 100mil on another batch of players and another year of trying to make them fit somewhere. Maybe start putting money in quality instead of quantity. Have some faith for f* sake.

  5. We do not need a defender, we just need to keep ours fit.
    Thiaw, Kalulu, Tomori, Gabbia, Simic is more than enough

    Bartesaghi, Jimenez, Terraciano can cover Theo.

    We need a good DM and a good striker!

    Better to spend more on a couple of Top players than buy a load of cheap ones.
    We don’t need depth, we need quality.

    1. Agreed mostly. I do think we need a proper backup LB. Barte is too raw (see how other non-natural LBs were used over him) and Jiminez and Terraciano are RBs. We should stop this practice of forcing RBs to play LB.

  6. I don’t get it. They’re either stup!d or deliberately blaming our defence to cover the incompetence of a 60 million bust that is our midfield. You can add all the defenders in the world to our backline but it’s the midfield that is leaking.

    RLC, Reijnders, Adli, Musah and Pobega are all bench material.

  7. See I must be honest now we are used to the 4-2-3-1 so Acmilan needs to sign two attacking midfield samardzic and Guller ardan we don’t need a striker what we need is a play maker that his the reason why we can’t score goals in the champions league Okafor and jovic are the perfect for striker let’s now add Armand lauriente as leao deputy now in the defense to me Kjaer,simic and Gabbia, Bartasaghi are best we don’t need thiaw or tomori then Calabria and Florenzi did a great work I respect them Hernandez and Jimenez are perfect so in defence we don’t need any signing

    1. You have said it all.

      We don’t need to buy anyone in defence
      We are covered

      We need a good Dm that can win the ball and protect the defence.

      We need a great attacking midfielder

      We need sesko cause he chases down Every thing that looks like a football and can score goals.


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