The door has closed on AC Milan’s chances of signing Sven Botman, so now the management must open other doors in search of the right defender.
La Gazzetta dello Sport report that Milan’s budget meant signing Botman for €35m would have meant sacrificing an investment in another department, most likely either the midfield or the attacking trident given that Divock Origi will arrive as a new centre-forward.
Now, Milan are expected to turn to a cheaper profile such as Francesco Acerbi of Lazio. The 34-year-old has made 173 appearances in the last four seasons but has not been on good terms with Biancoceleste supporters for some time now and he would be very happy to return to Milan.
Stefano Pioli is an admirer of him, and his arrival would also be useful for the Champions League squad list which required a certain amount of Primavera graduates and players who came through academies in Italy.
The other two names are both old flames, starting with Arthur Theate of Bologna. The 22-year-old Belgian was a target in January as Milan asked for information and the Rossoblù have just bought him permanently from Ostenda for €6m but could sell for around €15m to make a quick capital gain.
The other name is Malick Thiaw. Also in this case Milan tried in January, but an agreement was not found after an offer of €6m and a demand of €6m from Schalke. Now, the 20-year-old German could be the subject of a second attempt even after promotion back to the Bundesliga.