Sacchi worried about Milan’s lack of transfer activity: “Something I don’t understand”

By Oliver Fisher -

Arrigo Sacchi has criticised the AC Milan management for not having done any business so far, while he extended his best wishes to the new head coach Paulo Fonseca.

The first day of preseason begins today and Fonseca will not be able to work with any new signings given that Geoffrey Moncada and his team are yet to complete any incoming business thus far.

Perhaps the most worrying thing is that Milan are still without a centre-forward, and this is the real news that is taking centre stage on the day of the raduno. Giroud has moved to the United States, reinforcements have not arrived and for the moment Noah Okafor and Luka Jovic are the options.

It is not exactly ideal for a club that will participate in the Champions League and that in Italy aims to take the title from Inter. However, we are only in early July and thus there is time ahead to fix the various holes.

Sacchi spoke during an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport and he was asked a number of questions about the current state of affairs, not holding back regarding his thoughts on the summer window so far.

Is it possible that the centre-forward of the future has not yet been identified?

“Very possible, given that he wasn’t bought. First I read that they wanted Zirkzee, a striker I like for what he showed with Bologna. Then the Zirkzee option faded away, probably for financial reasons, and it seemed like they were aiming for Lukaku, who I’m not crazy about. That’s when a light bulb went on in my head…”

In what sense?

“I said to myself: Zirkzee and Lukaku are the opposite of each other. If a coach is happy with Zirkzee first, it’s not possible that he’ll then be happy with Lukaku. There’s something I don’t understand in the club’s strategy.

“Zirkzee is a striker who loves to link with his teammates, plays with the team, one-twos, triangles. Lukaku is someone who plays with force, makes the team move up the field, relies above all on athletic qualities. In short, two opposite universes. It’s not possible that a coach, in the absence of one, will be happy with the other.”

So what did he think?

“I’m waiting for the first official movements, knowing full well that we’re late now. If you want to make some moves you need to have connections, you need to know where to go to buy and you need to do it in the spring. Here we are two or three months late. It’s logical that now the prices have risen.”

Do we need to know what Fonseca’s requests are?

“This is fundamental. The coach has to make the team, I have no doubt about that. The managers are very good with financial and marketing issues, but the coach has to choose the players because he will be the one to train them and field them. I don’t know what Fonseca’s requests are, nor his ideas. I had my own method and I always used it, from when I was coaching amateurs until I arrived at Milan.”

What was the method?

“Very simple. I took a piece of paper and for each role that I considered vacant I wrote down five names. Then I gave the piece of paper to the manager who had to operate on the market. I must say that I was lucky because often the managers brought me the first choices. It seems that nowadays it is not used anymore, to me it seemed so effective…”

You also need to understand your available budget…

“That’s the first thing. It’s not that when I was coaching Baracca Lugo, I asked for Roberto Bettega. I knew how much the club could spend and I drew up my list based on that. Fonseca should do the same thing, assuming he hasn’t already done so.

“At least I hope he has and that he is working in harmony with the management. Otherwise we’ll start off on the wrong foot and face a difficult period.”

Which players would you choose?

“I wouldn’t go looking for players at the top of their game. I would try with young players who want to surprise and make sacrifices. You have to build a team, a collective. You have to follow the coach’s instructions based on his playing ideas.”

The fans are in an uproar. Is it understandable?

“They want to see a team that plays well and entertains. Especially those from Milan who, over the years, have been accustomed to it quite well. However, I don’t like pitch invasions, the fans should be fans and not also try to buy players. If things aren’t to their liking, they have the opportunity to protest, always in a civil and polite way.”

Tags AC Milan Arrigo Sacchi

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  1. “I said to myself: Zirkzee and Lukaku are the opposite of each other. If a coach is happy with Zirkzee first, it’s not possible that he’ll then be happy with Lukaku. There’s something I don’t understand in the club’s strategy.”
    It’s simple, the coach’s opinion is irrelevant in our case, that’s why Fonseca was brought in the first place (though I still think he can boycott some transfers). The management sets the target it wants using criterias already discussed and it’s the coach who should try to figure out how to deal with the players brought to him.

    1. I already said it in the other article as well. That’s something I can’t understand too. They already said multiple times that this summer transfer will be more of a targeted transfer. So when they targeted Zirkzee for months, I taught that they’re looking for a striker with such characteristic.

      And somehow it’s now turned into Morata who has entirely different characteristic. And it’s far from a targeted transfer. They only looked for Morata as the opportunity suddenly arised, with his low release clause. It’s not targeted. It’s still pure opportunist without base kind of move.

      1. Bingo! These transfers are opportunities rather than actually building a team. Moratta sounds like this. Inter signs players functional to Inzaghi’s playing style while we look for players that are low cost/low risk high reward. It actually happened last year too. Okafor and Jovic are low cost opportunities, they didn’t necessarily fit Pioli’s system and then got flack by fans for Pioli not being able to integrate (perhaps he didn’t exactly want those types). Btw Okafor and Jovic panned out well imo. But the point was we need to target players that I prove the team and fits with the style…. Fonseca’s voice is absolutely needed in their regard

  2. Fonseca has no say what so ever in the Mercato. At best the managers will listen, at best.

    The club will buy whoever is the cheapest available. Our new top scout is an excell sheet, and the clubs aim is being better than Atalanta.

  3. Wieffer in Brighton
    Zirkzee almost in Man Utd
    Khephren Thuram in Juve
    Calafiori almost in Arsenal
    even Guirassy will go to Dortmund
    and so on

    No chance for Sesko, Gimenez, Gyokeres, David, or anyone else worth more than 30-40 million. There is no point in even looking at other options like Dovbyk or Omorodion because it won’t happen anyway

    We are not a club that fights for goals and invests to achieve them, which is why we are not attractive to players. The only thing that matters to the management is the financial result, because the club is run by an investment fund and each expense must have an estimated risk and green arrows in the tables.

    We will not buy anyone for 40 mil with a salary of 5 mil + because it is simply too big a financial risk, we will maneuver around experienced, cheaper options that have the potential to return to some medium/high level (like Giroud), and if not, we can always cash them in to Arabia.

    So if you are a Milan fan – prepare for Lukaku, Morata, Abraham, Emerson, Hojbjerg, etc.

    It can still work out, but it’s not about winning the league and the Champions League. It’s about stabilizing in positions 2-4 and getting out of the group.

    The investment must be stable and the capital returns predictable every year. If they spent an additional 50 million (plus salary) on one player and did not achieve higher goals, the investment would become unprofitable, and this is out of the question for the management board because it will lose its shareholders.

    This is how business works.

  4. What’s there to understand except that we’re a club operating without an actual and skilled sporting director.

    A banker, a scout and freshly retired footballer aka Gerry’s football mascot are spearheading our mercato.

    1. It’s unclear if Zlatan have some influence. He’s here when they need him to promise things to the fans, like the third star, basically he’s only here to speak to the press like some PR jester. He reportedly wanted Conte and didn’t want Fonseca and yet he lost that fight and had to announce Fonseca to the press haha

      Ah and he’s also here to hug Camarda who is now the number one star of the club above Leao or Théo.

      1. Ibrahimovic is new to this role. Give him time. I think the biggest reason for this mess was the idea in spring that they would keep Pioli, after a good run of results just as he was about to be fired. Had they decided on Motta or Fonseca at that point, I’m sure we’d have made some deals already.

      2. You’ve watched Zlatan plenty, right, B? Anything about him make you think he would “jester” for anyone for any reason?

        My guess is he is at Milan because the big picture is bright and it’s something he can stand behind and hang his hat on.

        It’s a big picture that’s unclear for us, at this point. But that doesn’t mean it’s not gonna be successful. Not knowing is hard, I get it. And this day and age being patient is apparently is just as hard 🙂

        Hang in there, Fenchie! FORZA MILAN ⚫️🔴

        1. Zlatan has always been a mercenary! He goes where they pay him and he has never hidden that or apologised for it.
          Now he is paid to be a mouth piece since they fired Maldini (someone who genuinely had the clubs best interests at heart).
          Aside from the fact this is Zlatans first job after retiring, so he is going to take what he can get

    2. That’s exactly right. If they had fired Maldini and hired a director with experience that would have made much much more sense to me eg Marotta, the guy that’s at Bologna (forgot his name, formerly Atalanta I think), Edwards frm Pool. Instead they kept going with pretty much the same direction sans M. as if that was really the issue.

  5. I already said it in the other article as well. That’s something I can’t understand too. They already said multiple times that this summer transfer will be more of a targeted transfer. So when they targeted Zirkzee for months, I taught that they’re looking for a striker with such characteristic.

    And somehow it’s now turned into Morata who has entirely different characteristic. And it’s far from a targeted transfer. They only looked for Morata as the opportunity suddenly arised, with his low release clause. It’s not targeted. It’s still pure opportunist without base kind of move.

    1. Targeted transfers are simply PR. The management wants to take advantage of investment opportunities, and Morata is exactly that. If Hummels wanted a salary of 2-3 million, they would take him easily, but now they can explain that they are not interested in him because he does not fit the profile.

      If Calafiori goes to Arsenal, Kiwior may be such an opportunity, especially considering the low salary and possible loan, but again we will probably lose the fight for the player to Juve, Inter or whoever.

      Fonseca is the perfect coach to carve out the players he receives – Conte would hire players that the management would not want to buy due to risky investment reasons.

      We are in a situation where all this may work out, but if it doesn’t, the club will not lose much and will continue its strategy in the next season. This is what it will look like now and this is the club we are now, it’s better to realize it.

  6. Well now at least we know why De Zerbi was never an option. He gets to Marseille and immediately facilitates signings getting done. The ineptitude of it all is staggering.

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