Tuttosport: ‘Attack on the jewels of Milan’ – management braced for big offers

By Oliver Fisher -

While there continues to be a lot of focus on how the AC Milan management plan to strengthen the squad in the summer, they will also have their resolve tested when it comes to keeping star players.

More specifically, Tuttosport (via MilanNews) this morning talks about the three top players in the Milan squad at present who are the target for the biggest European clubs: Mike Maignan, Theo Hernandez and Rafael Leao.

The section they have dedicated to the story is titled: ‘Theo, Maignan and Leao – Attack on the jewels of Milan’. The subtitle then specifies: ‘Bayern are the latest big club to be on the trail of a Rossoneri player: they look for Hernandez, if Davies goes to Real’.

Theo Hernandez is the most talked about player at the moment when it comes to potential big sales for Milan, especially given that Alphonso Davies is expected to leave for Real Madrid leaving Bayern with a hole at left-back and money to spend.

Milan are happy with Theo and vice versa, while the Frenchman is valued at €100m, even if at €80m the management would sit down and negotiate a potential deal with any suitor, not just Bayern.

Despite the talk of interest from abroad, the plan for Geoffrey Moncada and his team is to sit down with both Theo and Maignan to work on contract renewals, evaluating the possibility of offering them similar figures to those given to Rafael Leao last year (€7m net per year, including bonuses).

The most concrete interest in the Portuguese winger meanwhile seems to be from Paris Saint-Germain who will lose Kylian Mbappè on a free. The No.10, however, is protected by a €175m release clause which can only be activated during the first 10 days of July.

Of course the natural instinct for the club and the fans is to want to keep players who are among the best in their position, but huge offers present a dilemma whereby potentially squad-changing amounts of money could come in.

Tags AC Milan Mike Maignan Rafael Leao Theo Hernandez


  1. Some people might disagree, and thats ok, i had different opinion in scuddeto winning season and season prior to that, BUT I think that it would be harder to replace Mike and Theo(especially Theo) then Leao. Yes he was among best in europe, and still is given his age, but this season you can notice that he doesnt have work etic to give all he can. Doesnt track back, and looks like he dont wanna be on the pitch. Mike is the best GK in Europe and Theo is best LB in europe and gives Milan and France national team totally different and unexpected style of play that can hurt any team in the world. So i would much rather sell Leao for cca 150-175Mil + original budget+ sales of saelemakers and De ketelare and get brutal team with great backups with new coach for next season to try get 2nd star, cause Inter is running away with it this season.

    1. MM16 is the easiest (and cheapest) to replace though and IF one of them had to go, it should be him. Di Gregorio would be good enough to fill his shoes.

      1. Ok but you have to have a perspective from economic point of view. They can sell mike for around 70mil which is a fair price(and i agree, if he goes only logical replacement is Di gregorio, who btw is on Inter’s radar for around 20mil) but remaining money wouldnt be enough for new coach to fill the gaps. If they sell Mike and buy gregorio, there is around 50 mil left, maybe less. If original budget is around 50mil that 100+ deketelare and saelemakers thats 130mil which is a huge amount, dont get me wrong, but we have to take to consideration that quality striker is around half that price, so around 60mil. Remaining 60mil, imo isnt enough to build a squad for 3 competitions. Instead, if they sell leao for around 150 and on top we add original budget and othet sales thats over 200mil of budget. Thats no joke

        1. But getting a proper replacement for Theo would take 30-50M€ and for Leao? I dunno 70-100M€? Not to mention what will happen to the team if their replacements flop.

          And even 120M€ would be enough to fix the issues we have. There is no need for another revolution. Just a proper DM, a new #9 and a proper coach would make us much more competitive. But if we were to get a new starting winger or LB too… I don’t think even the money coming in from Theo/Leao would suffice.

          1. a lot of scenarios happening. knowing Moncada, they will put Pulisic on the left (his natural position), put Chuk on the right and hope he can explode after 1 year or acclimation. Buy a back up for RW (given that Okafor can be a LW backup) .
            I wouldnt say i’d agree to this. I’m saying i would not be surprised if it happens.

          2. “I’m saying i would not be surprised if it happens.”

            Yep. And none of us would be surprised if that lead us to compete only for the 5-7th spot in the league.

          3. I get what your doubts are but if we are arguing quality of players that could replace Theo Mike and Leao and their quality my POV is this: Mike and Theo, as much as they had ups and downs this season are players that IMO cant be replaced by 1 player but with effort from whole team. Mike is a leader at the back and Theo gives so much in both defense and offense. We saw this season that yes, on his day, Leao look like 2017 CL Ronaldo, great skills, speed and finish. But more often this season he looked like Rebic. Doesnt have a clue what he is doing and should he do(just a few games as exampe: PSG first game, 5-1 loss against Inter, although he scored looked awful, Salernitana game and so on). On the other hand we have Pulisic who on RW plays phenomenal and he could be put on LW and getting new RW could be a play. Okafor also this season looks promising so he could also replace Leao in longer run. I dont see any player in our current squad, and also on transfer market that can replace Mike and Theo and wouldn cost more than 30 mil(except Di Gregorio which i explained in previous post)

        2. @Rossonery: I’ll have to disagree, Leao will be the hardest to replace alongside Theo.
          While Maignan was exceptional in 21/22, this year his performance dropped by a lot and he is asking for a lot of money. Assuming we manage to sell him for somethin like 70M, we can use all that money to find a good striker and use the rest (CDK’s sale+Saelemakers+original budget) to get a solid midfielder, a goalkeeper and perhaps a defender. A goalkeeper is always the easiest to replace, since he is not a field player, you pretty much need him to be able to save and communicate with his defense.
          You seem to argue that it’s ok for Mike and even Theo to have drops in their performance but not Leao ? Don’t forget Leao is also a victim to the swith to a 4-3-3 which pretty much isolated him on the wing and made it easier for defenders to mark him out of the game. This season he also became more of a team player and is tracking back more often than he used to. Running forward and backwards all the time is also a recipe of injuries (remember the game against Lecce).
          But let’s suppose we sell Leao for 150M or even 175M. We will have to replace him while finding room for a striker and a midfielder. There is no guarantee that Chuk will succeed next season and Pulisic, while being very good, can’t do the things Leao do. How much is a new left winger (or even a right winger) of the quality of Leao gonna cost us ? I can’t think of anyone less than 100M who isn’t already scouted by PSG or City or Bayern.

          1. Im not saying he doesnt have talent and spark, but saying that he is worth rejecting 150+mil is nonsence. I get what your saying but i dont agree that he is a victim of a system. Lets not forget that Milan played 433 first few games in season and is constantly playing 4231 with Loftus Cheek as number 10. So formation wise there arent any changes. Of course that there are no guarantee that players will perform but with sitting 15 points behind Inter i think that we should cash in on Leao because this season at least I didnt managed to see the difference in performances that would justify having player cost that much in our team. Just see what Mbappe is doing in CL. That kind of player is a gamechanger. Leao these past 2 seasons is playing when he wants, and we need players that give everything every match

          2. We started going back to the 4-2-3-1 with Loftus-Cheek as an attacking midfielder around mid-december (the PSG game was a bit of an exception). And the switch to 4-3-3 was very detrimental because Theo played as an inverted fullback (which was also bad for him) and left Leao alone in the wing. Now that of couse doesn’t excuse Leao’s overall poor performance. I don’t get what you mean by last season, last season Leao had 16 goals and 15 assists, an all time high for him and more than Kvaratskhelia who was considered to be huge last season.
            Before talking about 150M or any amout of money (not that I think any team will pay that much for him anyways) you need to think what to do with that. Because if we’re gonna use that money to get players around 30M each we will be weakening the team instead of reinforcing it.

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