GdS: Milan have a ‘Plan Z’ – talks on with Roma and Chelsea over forward duo

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan are looking to strengthen their attack before the window shuts and they are calling upon ‘Plan Z’, according to a report.

This morning’s edition of La Gazzetta dello Sport (via MilanNews) talks about two players that are tempting the Milan management: Nicolò Zaniolo and Hakim Ziyech. While Paolo Maldini declared the market closed, the club have always reiterated that they are ready to pounce on opportunities.

Zaniolo seems to be one of these, but at the moment there seems to be distance between Milan and Roma on the formula of the deal and the valuation put on the winger. The salary shouldn’t be a problem, and a loan with option to buy bid was put forward set at €18m.

Roma are not convinced by this solution since the player must be sold given his deal expires in 2024 and therefore they want a permanent sale or at the very least a loan with a certain obligation to buy.

The Giallorossi want to raise as much as possible and know that in the Premier League there would be clubs willing to satisfy their asking, even coming close to the €35m valuation they have put on Zaniolo. There is also a question related to the table: why should Roma sell to a direct competitor for the Champions League?

However, there is another option and his name is Ziyech. The World Cup in Qatar has revitalised the Moroccan and raised his standing also in the eyes of Chelsea manager Graham Potter who is using him with greater continuity.

Despite this, Chelsea have had a mammoth January spending spree and Milan have reopened contact with the player’s entourage in the last few hours. The problem remains the same as in the summer and is the exact opposite compared to Zaniolo: for Chelsea there would be no problems in letting him on loan with option to buy but the issue is the high salary Ziyech gets, which is around €6m net per season.

The possible signing of Ziyech would obviously guarantee the player a starting position on the right where he would replace Junior Messias and Alexis Saelemaekers. Milan’s move could be considered a disruptive action against Roma, who probed the ground over Ziyech as a possible Zaniolo replacement.

Tags AC Milan Hakim Ziyech Nicolo Zaniolo


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