Now that the season is over and AC Milan have secured a return to the Champions League, planning for the summer market is underway.
MilanLive takes a look at all the situations that Paolo Maldini and Ricky Massara must tackle, starting with the renewals of Gianluigi Donnarumma and Hakan Calhanoglu whose contract are set to expire at the end of next month. The feeling at the moment is that both will leave on a free transfer due to excessive demands, while the club will certainly not renew Antonio Donnarumma or Mario Mandzukic.
Maldini and Massara will also have to deal with players whose contract expire in June 2022 such as Davide Calabria, Franck Kessie and Alessio Romagnoli. For the former two an extension seems a priority, but Romagnoli’s agent Mino Raiola is demanding a salary increase from the current €3.5m net per season and a renewal seems difficult, so he could be sold.
Milan have five players who arrived on loan either before or during last season. Starting with Sandro Tonali, there is no doubt about his option to buy being used and he will complete a €15m permanent move. Milan should also exercise the €28m option to buy Fikayo Tomori from Chelsea after his impressive season.
Soualiho Meite – who arrived from Torino in the winter market – should leave on the other hand as it would take €8m to buy him permanently and he has not convinced. Diogo Dalot and Brahim Diaz arrived at Milanello on a dry loan from Manchester United and Real Madrid respectively, and there will be contacts with both clubs as the hypothesis of a loan extension cannot be ruled out.
It must also be considered that Milan will soon welcome back several players who left on loan. Starting with Andrea Conti, the full-back Parma would have gone to Parma for €7m if they had survived due to an obligation to buy but he will return and be sold because his contract expires in June 2022.
Mattia Caldara will come back too as Atalanta will not use the €15m option to buy agreed in January 2020, though it is likely the defender will be sold. Diego Laxalt will not stay at Celtic, so he should head back to base and be sold as well.
Young players such as Gabriele Bellodi, Frank Tsadjout, Alessandro Plizzari, Marco Brescianini and Lorenzo Colombo will also return to Milanello but all four are destined to leave against. The only loanee who has a concrete chance of staying is Tommaso Pobega who has just had a good season in Serie A with Spezia, but Milan will evaluate any offers and then decide.
As far as the incoming market is concerned, Milan has already concretely moved to buy a new goalkeeper who can replace Donnarumma as Lille’s Mike Maignan will soon be made official. A new left-back who can act as a deputy to Theo Hernandez will also be signed while a new right-back could arrive too depending on the fate of Dalot and the club’s plans for Pierre Kalulu. A central defender will also arrive if Alessio Romagnoli were to leave.
In midfield it is expected that the management will target a physically gifted midfielder who can be the deputy to Kessie, but at the same time a player who has good technique. A new winger will come to as Samu Castillejo will leave while the role of central attacking midfielder everything will depend on the future of Brahim Diaz and Calhanoglu. If they both leave, Milan will find themselves having to sign two playmakers.
Rade Krunic is considered to be a playmaker by Pioli but he too could leave Milanello. On the left wing there seems to be no doubt about Ante Rebic’s stay, but a bit more perplexity about Rafael Leao and Jens Petter Hauge’s situation/ Should an important offer arrive, the former Lille could also leave, while for the Norwegian a loan is possible.
Finally, a new deputy to Zlatan Ibrahimovic must be signed as Pioli needs a centre-forward who can give guarantees both physically and in terms of goals. Names like Olivier Giroud, Andrea Belotti and Dusan Vlahovic are circling, but beware of possible surprises.