Journalist explains how Milan’s project would change without UCL and criticises January window

By Oliver Fisher -

Journalist Luca Pagni has explained what will change regarding AC Milan’s project if a top four finish is not achieved on Sunday against Atalanta.

The 0-0 draw against Cagliari last weekend was a major disappointment as the Rossoneri wasted one of their ‘match points’, and there will be no room for error at the Gewiss Stadium against La Dea.

Atalanta beat Milan 5-0 in the same fixture last year and won 3-0 at San Siro against Pioli’s men earlier this season, so what sweet revenge it would be to get one over on them. The Rossoneri know that they simply have to win to guarantee a top four spot, however a slip-up from Napoli and/or Juventus would certainly help too.

Pagni of La Repubblica spoke during an interview with MilanNews about what the implications of a failure to qualify for the Champions League would be, suggesting it would not be as catastrophic as some are making out.

“Let’s make a hypothesis: the goal is to make it to the Champions League final in ten years: three have already passed and at this point you will not get there in the next seven years. If you go to the Champions League immediately, however, this period will shorten,” he said.

“Milan are still in those ten years: the project is continuing and is also centred on the stadium: the fact that a fund like Oaktree arrives at Inter, which has the same characteristics as Elliott’s entry, will certainly help to develop it. Elliott wants to move forward with the stadium, with limited expenses, investments in young players and no mad spending on champion players.

“We will go forward in small steps, but arriving in the Champions League allows you to speed up the timing of the project to return to being a team in the top ten or twelve of Europe. Milan still has a very remarkable ‘fan base’, but it must be maintained because it does not last forever: I don’t think many very young people will cheer Milan, maybe they will because there are fathers and in some cases mothers, but not for the successes of recent years.

“I would have moved all-in in January to try to win the Scudetto, because there was a huge chance. Out of three signings, they only got one right: with a stronger winger and a centre-forward with a safe 10-12 goal contribution, Milan would have fought to the end with Inter and would certainly have gone to the Champions League.”

READ MORE: Pioli has two possible line-ups in mind for Atalanta – Leao could return

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