After seven long and often torturous seasons, Milan have made it to the UEFA Champions League. The various experiments, projects, permutations and combinations have finally yielded a return for Milan in the most elite competitions.
For a team that has achieved this milestone but would like to grow stronger, two actions are key: to strengthen the team in the transfer market and reward existing performers in the team.
Milan have already started making a moves in the transfer market by signing Fikayo Tomori permanently and securing Mike Maignan as replacement for contract rebel Gianluigi Donnarumma, and as a result have spent €42m in the transfer market in the space of a week (with amortisation it becomes €8.3m per season as an expense on the accounts).
Now comes the renewal part. Milan are in negotiations with Franck Kessie and Davide Calabria to reward them for their stellar season and if rumours are to be believed even Theo Hernandez may be in for a new deal with a pay rise. There is also the big conundrum in the form of Alessio Romagnoli’s renewal.
Surely now Milan have learnt their lesson from the protracted renewal saga with Donnarumma and controversial agent Mino Raiola, after Donnarumma reportedly told Maldini: “I do what Mino tells me.”
Romagnoli and Donnarumma have a lot of similarities. Both players have been at Milan throughout the seasons of struggle, especially with the former rejecting a move to Chelsea to stay at Milan and the Rossoneri rewarding his loyalty with a four-year contract in 2018, albeit with a different agent. The most disturbing similarity is that they both are the clients of Raiola.
Surely Raiola can not so easily forget the bad press Milan and Maldini subjected his client Donnarumma to after he tried to hold the club ransom to get them to pay him a lucrative €10m net per season contract, which would make him him the world’s best paid goalkeeper.
The renewal of Alessio has been a much debated topic with supporters of his renewal wanting Milan to reward his loyalty while his naysayers would like him to leave the club while he has some value, as they feel Milan can find a better player suited to Stefano Pioli’s style of play.
If anything Milan have learned from Donnarumma it is for Milan to take a stand much like how they have done for the renewals of Calhanoglu and Donnarumma. A decision must be put forward to the captain: renew at a reasonable rate or leave the club – and with an ultimatum to answer the club within a specified time period.
With Romagnoli down to his last year, his book value – i.e. the value of the asset in the books (in this case the asset is the player) – is zero and this means that if Milan sell Romagnoli at, for example, €15m it would be a plusvalenza (pure profit) of €15m. This would help Milan to balance the books even further.
Milan had an opportunity to sell Donnarumma last season when he had one-year left but with a pandemic hit economy no suitors came for the keeper and the club was confident of keeping the player. But now it is time the club learned from their mistake and take a stand.