MN: Milan’s empty winter market a risk as six holes in the squad still exist

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan’s January transfer window ended up closing with just one arrival in goalkeeper Devis Vasquez, which has left some big question marks.

MilanNews recall that the notion of ‘sustainability’ was already already explicitly and implicitly announced in the early part of the window, with Paolo Maldini even confirming that there would be no new signings, unless opportunities emerged that were too good to turn out.

One of these opportunities could have been Nicolò Zaniolo, for whom the Rossoneri went as far as a loan with option to buy for a total of €22m, but Roma were not willing to accept. A move was also made late in the window for Dario Osorio of Club Universidad de Chile as a signing for the future, but again a deal did not get over the line.

“We are not the Milan of the nineties that signs the great champions already established, but we need to follow a strategy that has led us to settle the club’s accounts and to be protagonists. We will certainly not deviate from that,” Maldini said to DAZN earlier in the month.

The problem is that a so far disappointing summer transfer market was followed by an empty winter mercato and Milan needed reinforcements immediately such as a reliable deputy to Mike Maignan, a right winger to upgrade on Junior Messias and Alexis Saelemaekers and a midfielder to help Sandro Tonali and Ismael Bennacer catch their breath, especially now the Algerian is injured.

Moreover, the squad is missing an experienced central defender more physically reliable that Simon Kjaer, as well as a deputy to Theo Hernandez and a centre-forward who guarantees goals but above all appearances.

However, with the presence of 31 players in the squad, this does not allow for large movements and there were never likely to be any big sales, so in the end Stefano Pioli must stick with what he has.

Tags AC Milan


  1. It is OK. We have RedChicken. Even if Milan finish on 7th place, they will lose around 60 or 70 mil€ from European competitions. Maybe it will be a little more, let’s around 100 million euros revenue less. But still there is Leao. They probably didn’t sign him yet because of this calculation: if they don’t finish top 4, Leao can be sold for 70 million and Milan can afford 1 year without champions league.
    They will again give 50 million for incoming transfer and buy again left winger with striker 50% – 50%.
    It is easy to predict RedChickens moves, they are all about the money.

      1. Well, if you prefer this kind of handling the club, stop whinging and go play monopoly.
        Or you can be cheerleader of Chelsea and Looserspool. They have Americans owners as well.

        Why don’t you do that? Come on do that. Yeeea

        1. Milan’s projected season revenue is $300million, and you want the club to throw 10% (30m) of the club revenue around like it’s nothing, you do know how Parma ended up where they are right? Also Liverpool generates a revenue of $700million, West Ham United generates more revenue than Milan due to TV money and Premier League sponsorships. Consider the fact that the Premier League brings in over $7billion in TV revenue a year and Serie A doesn’t even bring in $1billion you can understand why spending crazy money just isn’t on the cards. Also Italian clubs don’t own their Stadium’s, and you see the fight with the municipalities the clubs have on their hands when trying to build one. This isn’t the Premier League or England, the money just isn’t in Italy anymore.

    1. What a moron, you do realize that the Premier League brings in 10x more TV revenue than Serie A, which is why operating with this strategy is fair, the bottom Premier League team brings in more than the Serie A champions, so spending would obviously be way less in the case of all Serie A clubs, also, you do realize if we go ahead and break the bank on signings we will be in the same situation of paying fines and risk exclusion from UEFA competitions. You need to educate yourself on Calcio and Serie A before spewing a bunch of nonsense here, I would advise supporting PSG. They seem to follow your mindset. Also RedBird have an incredible stats department which is how signings will be made in future, rather than buying stars we would be creating them.

      1. So.. if you accept this kind of “sustainable” business model more than winning the League and playing in Champions League then go ahead, but please don’t force your thoughts to others that wants AC Milan to win the league again, or even winning Champions League again.
        Do you realize that last summer “so called sustainable” transfer strategy was not successfull? instead of having to pay Randal Kolo Muani and Enzo Fernandes/Renato Sanches, they choose the least cost players like Vranckx and Origi, and look where we are right now? have you look at the depth of squad from the players quality point of view? then tell me why Pioli use the first team player over and over again and not often doing rotation? I believe most of the fans realize that Milan can’t compete with other big league european club such as clubs from EPL and spend big on players, like Neymar and Mbappe. But they can also see that there is gaps that needs to fill with more quality players if Milan wants to compete with top tier clubs, not only in Serie A but also in Europe.

      2. Genius, do you know how much % is income from Champions league? How much will Milan have less if they don’t finish top 4? Simple math. You are saying it isn’t worth spending extra to secure the top 4 spot but better to be cheap and pray??? 😂😂😂😂😂

      3. And Redbird doesn’t have anything, their knowledge of football is mediocre, their only experience is with French 2 league and they managed to get a promotion. Milan is a top club with history. Also, the club skipped on a great RW talent, 12M is too much for Redbird. Ridiculous…

        1. “And Redbird doesn’t have anything, their knowledge of football is mediocre, their only experience is with French 2 league and they managed to get a promotion.”

          Aren’t we lucky as we have an all-knowing genius on this site who knows faaaar better than the current owners, management & coaches. Why don’t you buy the club and do all those things yourself and prove you’re right?

  2. After every transfer window there are bigger and bigger gaps with the squad, not single issue is addressed. I can’t see plan, if there was plan then some of the issues regarding the squad would be addressed. Not to mention that this ship is leaking in all aspects from top to bottom. I think that Milan will be in decline at least untill the stadium is build and then slowly will start to catch up in the next 15-20 years. Keep Moncada, some great negotiator, and coach who can develop young players. This policy has no sense with coach like Pioli. And maybe with developing young players and selling them they can speed up this process, otherwise we will not see great Milan in the next few decades.

    1. The plan is to stay solvent.

      Is that good enough for you?

      And how can gaps appear if we don’t sign anyone and nobody leaves?

      Surely that’s just the status quo.

      1. More nonsense. Are you an accountant or a football fan?
        Maldini asked for money to get zaniolo, owner refused.
        I guess Maldini is a whinger too

        1. Some idiots on here clearly do not understand how or why Serie A cannot compete financially and why exclusion for Italian teams are more likely if they break the bank on signings, let me just give you one thing, the Premier League generates $7.2billion in TV revenue which is then split between the clubs, Serie A makes $600million which is more than 10x less than the Premier League, trying to compete and stay withing FFP when the margin is that great is nearly impossible, we are projected to reach $300million in revenue which is a 14% increase over last season, Liverpool generated a revenue of +/-$700million last season. And that should explain everything.
          And you want Milan to spend 10% of the entire season revenue on an injury prone player? You need to get your head examined and actually learn something about the club.

          1. Nobody on this chat is asking to compete with the EPL friend. Nobody is that delusional except you perhaps if you believe that is what we are saying. What we ARE saying is that given the current situation and the risk of missing out on CL next season – a reasonable investment in a few players was warranted – a back up goalie (Sportiello – 5M; and perhaps a player like Aouar who is out of contract in 6 months). Doing NOTHING was not reasonable. Never heard the Yankees say we spent everything in summer so we have no money at trade deadline if they are in the middle of a pennant race. Further, the summer/winter spend argument is misleading and quite frankly BS. You CAN spend for this current year (2023) to save your season (and technically still compete for a Scudetto – extreme long shot but def not out of it with half season left to play) and CL spot and invest less in the upcoming summer. Similar to what Juve did with Vlahovic. They spent large in January of last year to secure top 4 finish and less last summer – all in the same year. So saying well we blew our load in summer is fine. But January is a new year and in 2023 we haven’t spent anything (except for a no name kid goalie from Columbia?) . Rather spend some of the 2023 budget NOW in winter if it means we can secure a CL spot – because the consequences of missing CL far exceed the cost of a reasonable spend now. So with all due respect Redbird’ s reasoning is BS and sends a message to the fans that they don’t really care if they win. So that my friend is what we are arguing about and not about trying to keep up with EPL teams. It’s about doing something that is reasonable NOW. What is not reasonable is doing NOTHING – which is what Redbird did. Nothing. So when we miss out on CL cause we wouldn’t spend our 2023 budget in winter and waited till summer – it will be too late – CL gone and with it many players who won’t want to stay without CL and under a wage cap. Maybe that was the Redbird/Elliot plan all along. Makes them look good. Players will ask to leave and they will sell for big $$ – Theo Leao, etc…so they make the players the villains and not them. “They wanted to leave so we had to sell” lol. Just don’t think that when that happens they will reinvest ALL the $$ from player sales back into new players LOL. That would be DELUSIONAL my friend. They will buy more 18-19 year olds so the wage cap stays the same and the cycle repeats itself. Rinse and repeat. Rinse and repeat. Man that “dirty” oil money would be nice right about now …Newcastle doesn’t seem to mind 😝😝😝😝😝

          2. It’s not 7 billion it’s more or less close to 4 billion I am talking about media rights both combined international and local…Investment on zaniolo was not the one I favoured on….but can you explain me few things does winnings helps you increases revenue? Second: winning attract and raise your profile? Right? That doesn’t happen without Investment in some way or the other. Every cycle has its end and you need to keep on plugging the holes time and again. milan won league how much positive effect it had on account you will get to see in June. If milan doesn’t even qualify for 4th spot which is highly likely as of now your revenue will nose dive…how will you balance books by selling half of the team. The main issue is we loose players for free then we hardly come up with handy solutions….this team was ready for disaster since start of league because it didn’t had balance….you add one and you lose another piece without making up shortcomings of last season…balance books my a$$ its not you will get banned immediately plz read real madrid strategy for an idea why investments matters to increase revenues….let’s enjoy american flavours lol

          3. Exactly. No investment, no CL. CL is a big big part of Milan’s income at the moment. Skipping on that is definitely worse than spending extra 10-30M in this window and getting players we need to make sure we are in top 4. You are talking like we are saying Milan should sign Messi and we are talking about not being able to sign Osorio for 10ish million €. Allegedly we are focusing on talents, but under 5M? 🤣

      2. So staying on Tata is status quo or continued declining? Same players every few days playing matches is not status quo it is normally to decline. Even to keep status quo needs changes, like this is decline. Hope you can understand that not signing any player is not status quo in this situation.
        Solvent is not good enough for me, as every other spot fan I don’t care about the books or being solvent. Not to mention that this status quo as you say risks CL next season, without it to stay solvent is with primavera kids.

  3. Disgraceful and foolish!

    Also, why couldn’t they sell a few players to raise funds?

    Ballo Toure – injured and nobody wants him
    Florenzi – same
    Origi – same
    Mirante – same

    Could raise some small funds selling

    There’s 10 players we don’t need or want add Tata and u have a full 11.

    Maybe we could do a swap with Universidad Chile and exchange our 11 for Dario Osorio!!
    Win win win

    I guess they’d never fall for that, pity

    1. Yep. The report said Milan put in a 6 mil offer for Osorio. But his club wanted 12.
      Since Osorio is a Rw, then one of Messias and Saelemakers won’t be needed. If Maldini sells one of Messias or Saelemakers ,he would have the other 6 mil to buy Osorio. But Maldini can’t sell, he would rather just stick his hand out and ask the owner for money.

  4. Only pocket change for that bunch at the moment.
    Unfortunately, the summer mercato is too late for this team. Not my choice, but even getting Zaniolo would have given something to the team to try and retain CL football for next season.
    Pioli has been found out – and it’s going to be costly

    1. You think? Oil money, would’ve brought us Messi, Mbapppe, Neymar? None of us, in this forum had, any say in club’s sale. We didn’t sell, the club to redbird! So stop, showing that, Inevtcorp didn’t buy Milan, because some fan didn’t want to..

      1. We all didn’t but some did raise the issue with dirty oil money and bla bla….now I guess everyone is happy with the American show….all I said then wait for a transfer window lol and I am still saying we will loose alot in the long run starting by not qualifying for champions league….just look at team this just don’t have a balance and depth in there…then our owners will say balancing books….every one is responsible from top to down management

  5. At least they didn´t go on to say “Adli is the new signing” or even a MrX Saga.
    Which player is going to adapt to our current long ball and not running nor pressing strategy. People, Mandzukic is retired.
    Salad maker and MESSIas to the rescue

  6. Some idiots on here clearly do not understand how or why Serie A cannot compete financially and why exclusion for Italian teams are more likely if they break the bank on signings, let me just give you one thing, the Premier League generates $7.2billion in TV revenue which is then split between the clubs, Serie A makes $600million which is more than 10x less than the Premier League, trying to compete and stay withing FFP when the margin is that great is nearly impossible, we are projected to reach $300million in revenue which is a 14% increase over last season, Liverpool generated a revenue of +/-$700million last season. And that should explain everything.

    1. Man, little kids know this, everyone like you thinks he needs to explain something to others. The thing is, if you owned your company you would know that if you don’t invest you won’t increase your revenue…Milan can invest in players that will get the club to better results or maybe drop out of CL and decrease the income…being cheap in football is death, and you’ll see soon enough…

      1. Or you invest 10m in enzo Fernández and sell him for 120m six months later.

        That is how a business is improved by shrewd investments. Not sitting on their hands watching it fall apart

  7. First insulting other people make you idoot. No one here wrote something about Milan pirchesing 100 mll players, but rather expresed disappointment in not trying to solve at least some of the problems on some positions and not selling players. Not in this winter window but especial in the summer. FFP has nothing to do with many of the problems Milan is facing as I said previously is leaking form Top to bottom.

  8. No hope for champions league for next season. Really disappointed how Redbird is running this great club. We needed reinforcements to the team. We where building something great last season and now we loosing it.

  9. if we don’t get the top 4 my only condolence is knowing those greedy owner gonna loose a lot of money because of their dumb policy

  10. You’re complaining because the management refused to pay 12 million for a player no one has heard of? Are you serious? Blowing 12 million when the budget is already limited, would be a dereliction of duty. Given Pioli risks being fired if things don’t change soon, management did the right thing. There are no holes in the squad, between the new signings and Primavera, every position is covered. Man City have sent Cancelo on loan and given his spot to a player from a youth team. That Pioli doesn’t trust new players is his failing, not the managements.

    1. No holes in the squad? You have to be joking, I can see you don’t understand football and you won’t listen to random people but read what Nesta said, or anyone relevant…read what Maldini said before the season but was denied. And so on. If Milan is focusing on talents Osorio should have joined. If they miss out on CL it will be a financial disaster…

    2. The loaning of cancelo was purely based on his attitude and efforts which made pep think better to send him then mess up teams balance…man city have a luxurious squad and resources to make up for short comings…..and where primavera stands rights now….12 m or not its about management playing right cards at right moment.. no clubs can fill the spots left by free transfers no matter how rich you are…free transfers right we can’t even get money from them….now what you mentioned, is man city have courage to put the players in their space while relying on walker and Lewis While we keep on hoping on will of players to renew….sell them if they don’t renew instead of playing along to reach short term objectives…..atleast we would have gotten something to te invest…roma is making a prime example

  11. The issue is not investment. The question is why Pioli is not making use of the summer signings. Did we invest in the wrong players? Or Pioli is too afraid to give new players playing time? How they (the new players) can mature from staying on the bench? Why Adli is not being given the chance to play? Why CDK has never played 90 minutes and was rooted out when he was playing well? If Milan would have managed to get Zaniolo was he going to stay on the bench, like the others? 30m plus salary to stay on the bench? No sensible investor would be convinced to dish out more money for players to stay on the bench.

  12. Da sve zbrojimo na brzinu : Milan se neče plasirat među prva 4 , Leao neče igrati bez plasmana u ligu prvaka dakle prodaja !!! Možda mu se pridružu Teo i Benaser što je evidentno raspad sistema TOČKA !!!

  13. A lot of people don’t seem to know how things work. If a club wants 12million for a player, the price to pay isn’t limited to that amount. You also have to add the players wages and the agent fee. The price goed up to a lot more. That’s also the reason why agents stall contract talks. If they can get their player away for free, they can ask a lot more as a signing fee because the new club doesn’t have to pay a transfer fee. They rarher have a mismatched player like Kessie to Barcelona and the money in their pockets. Agents are stealing transfer fees away from clubs. Raiola even demanded a 20 mol signing fee for Dollaruma for a player that came out of the youth ranks of the club.
    Also everybody seems to think that champions league spots are guaranteed if you buy an injury prone Zaniolo or a new kid from South America. This are the same people who said it was a big mistake to let Hauge go. And where is he now? This squad is more than capable to reach top 4 with the available players. Everybody thinks that new players will solve everything. Then why is Juventus not on top anymore? They splashed the cash. If a club is not sustainable today, you can forget about it’s future. What’s the point in reaching CL spots if you’re kicked out by UEFA because of financial reasons? Let’s stay on the right path for financial health and grow towards a better future. And the current squad has to step up. They get enough money to bring us where we belong.

    1. Thank you Accountant Club Milan!

      What joy it will be to follow a team who loses but the books are healthy.
      You must be really fun on a night out!

      1. You can always start supporting Juve who will do ANYTHING to win games. ANYTHING. No crime is too big for them.

        You can always switch sides if this “honest” Milan isn’t good enough for you. 😀

      2. SJF I don’t go out with Championship Manager or FIFA 2023 addicts. I too look back at the Berlusconi era when we could buy everybody with nostalgia, but those times are gone. Our best bet for a better future is to have a financial healthy club. The challenge is to make that count on the field as well. Everybody screaming that the squad is not strong enough: they did win Serie A last year. I believe we should have replaced Kessie, but besides from that the squad is stronger than last year. We outplayed AS Roma with their expensive coach and big transfers for 85 minutes and then it all went down the drain with 2 headers. We were better than Napoli earlier in the season but lost because of bad luck. That means it’s a mental problem, not a quality problem. It’s up to Pioli now to give the team back it’s faith. You won’t solve that by adding new players.

  14. Chills guys. It is true that it was a shame we cannot do anything to strengthen the squad due to lack of capital. But, our squad right now IS NOT INFERIOR for any side in the serie A not named napoli, Inter, Juve. We can hang with Lazio, Atalanta, Roma, and the rest. CL spot is up to grab for sure to keep the continuity.

    However, our problem now is mentality. Our mental is back to what we used to Pre Ibra, Loser mentality. We need to sort it out before we play good again

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