AC Milan are not just in the market for a new starting centre-back this summer but they also want to complete the department with a young talent, a report claims.
According to Calciomercato.com, Paolo Maldini and Ricky Massara plan to make a big signing for the defence and Sven Botman remains the first name on their list, but he might not be the only player to arrive before next season.
Matteo Gabbia could leave given the amount of suitors he has – perhaps on loan to find some playing time – while Pierre Kalulu’s emergence, Fikayo Tomori’s continued development and the return of Simon Kjaer are all pillars to build around.
A young central defender could therefore arrive and Empoli’s Mattia Viti is the first name in Maldini and Massara’s notebook. In January Milan tried to sign him in a swap deal that would have sent Andrea Conti the other way, and they are eyeing an Adli-style negotiation whereby they sign him this summer and leave him on loan for another season.
Nicolò Casale of Hellas Verona is another name they admire but Lazio are leading the race for now, while the Rossoneri are also monitoring Malick Thiaw of Schalke 04, but the €10m asking price of the the Gelsenkirchen club has slowed things down for now.