We may have 13 league games to play until the end of the season, but it seems that Milan should address planning for next season sooner rather than later.
There are not one or two but 10 players are either on an expiring contract or on loan with option to buy. Of course, only some of them will be strongly missed, but the factor shouldn’t be underestimated by the management especially when depth has been such a key issue this season.
Not much is needed to be said about the contract renewal saga of Gianluigi Donnarumma. He is by far the best goalkeeper in the world at his age and he is even up there with the top shot stoppers in general.
A big financial sacrifice is essential for the renewal, because big teams are built from their No.1 between the sticks and also if the club do not spend big for his renewal, they will have to spend big for a replacement.
Antonio Donnarumma’s contract is also expiring and should his younger brother renew, he may also stick around as the third choice for another season or two.
One of the revelations since he arrived has been Fikayo Tomori, who is on loan with a quite high option to buy of €28m, as per most major sources. To keep him, the management will also need to spend big.
Another loan without option to buy is Diogo Dalot, whose future seems to be already decided and he will not be hanging around, thus leaving a void in the back-up full-back department.
Things are more clear in midfield. Sandro Tonali has shown signs of constant growth over the past few games and his permanent arrival seems almost certain. For Soualiho Meite meanwhile it is unlikely that he remains as he hasn’t impressed in almost all of the chances he has received.
Hakan Calhanoglu’s renewal seems to be nearing a happy end for Milan, while the future of Brahim Diaz is in doubt. He is on a dry loan from Real Madrid and while a stay cannot be ruled out, the odds are probably against that right now, at least based on reports from reliable sources.
The biggest problem is in attack and it isn’t talked about much, considering its importance. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is Zlatan Ibrahimovic, we all know that and we thank him for what he has done so far. However he is not a robot, he will be 40 next year, and even with his professionalism his body seems to “crack” with the tough schedule of the season. He has already missed many games, and will miss even more. Will he be able to continue next year?
As for Mario Mandzukic, fans hoped he could be a low risk gamble with huge reward, but for now that’s surely not the case and he won’t get any younger, either.
Taking all the above into consideration, it is clear that in the worst case scenario, Milan could need 10 new players at the end of the season if they wish to have the same numerical depth.
For argument’s sake, let’s say that Calhanoglu and Tonali will certainly stay. The same cannot be said about any other player in question. With Champions League football on the horizon, more certainties are needed.