The negotiations of the Rossoneri, who need a left back and a right winger, will rotate according to the fate of the Portuguese
January is far away, but only on the calendar. And, as those who deal with it always say, the market never closes. In other words, Paolo Maldini also confirmed it from the stage of the Sport Festival in Trento: “The market is dynamic, you start with an idea and then find yourself, for various reasons, carrying out another one”. And then, if the topic is dynamic, in other words it means that it is always current. Coaches and managers, when outside the official negotiation windows, usually throw the ball in the stands: it will be discussed in due course. In the meantime, however, they are working concealed. Because then some need always emerges, dictated by tactics or by the infirmary.
In the case of Milan it is necessary to start from a certainty: the number. That is the rose. Which is fed. Certainly more nourished than he imagined and wanted Pioli, who on the day of the meeting turned up his nose with those who proposed him a group of twenty-eight men, and now he has to manage one for thirty. Of course, the rotations demanded by a calendar that hammers relentlessly are evident. Better to be more than less. Thirty players, net of some structural suffering, means that in the repair market, fans don’t have to expect special things. In fact, this is something that the Rossoneri management is making filtered out decisively. The conditions and any interventions will therefore be dictated by particular needs: should there be an illustrious (perhaps very illustrious) sale; if, unfortunately, very urgent needs arise in terms of accidents; and if the ranking – let’s say in the case of a very, very good ranking – requires some adjustments to strengthen the squad. Projections, therefore, nothing more. Also because up to now Milan has clearly explained internally, and to external observers, that they can travel at high gears even without an essential contribution from the new arrivals. The summer session brought seven to Milanello. In order of roles: Thiaw, Dest, Pobega, Vranckx, Adli, De Ketelaere, Origi. Does anyone see an indispensable among these names?
And if on the one hand this reflection can be a legitimate regret, on the other the medal shines: Pioli has given his team such collective knowledge and experience that, right now, summer reinforcements are almost superfluous. The Devil runs regardless of the interpreters, and knows how to do it well relying on those who have already assimilated the coach’s philosophy. We emphasize, of course, the “right now”: De Ketelaere and Pobega, for example, are two excellent grafts destined to take the stage, hopefully in a not too long time. But where does Milan suffer a bit? By answering this question you can find an answer on any January reinforcements. There are two areas in particular: in defense on the left, and in attack on the right. The field tells it well. Hernandez’s current injury explains that there is really no one in the squad who can seriously stop the emergency. Otherwise, in addition to the obvious Ballo-Touré, there would be no talk of adapting Calabria or Dest to the left. And on the right, in the trident, Saelemaekers and Messias fight every game for a jersey with mixed fortunes.
But pay attention to the epochal scenario. Where by epochal we mean Leao’s involvement. Milan defended their top player from Chelsea’s attacks in the summer, and this is well known. He resisted despite offers that touched the triple figure. But in January it is easy to think that the Blues can return to the office. Rafa is becoming almost a matter of principle for the London club, and this is a fact that goes hand in hand with the dialogue for the renewal of the Portuguese. In different words: if the negotiation remained on profitable tracks, even January would flow without leaving a trace; but if it gets bogged down, then at that point one really needs to think about the possibility of a sale. Because one thing would be to make a price a year and a half before the deadline, another twelve months earlier. So where could AC Milan possibly go if they found themselves dramatically without Rafa in the middle of the season? Chelsea themselves may have a solution, and that’s Pulisic’s name. Name already released in recent months, appreciated by the Rossoneri club. The 24-year-old American winger would gladly accept, also because he has played a little in London so far. The other name is that of Okafor, 22, who Milan has known for some time and who has already scored in this Champions League at Milan (as well as at Chelsea). The Swiss likes it in via Aldo Rossi, and given his age it would be a new prospect to grow in terms of field and card. As for the right wing, however, back to Chelsea and the “usual” Ziyech. With Tuchel little space, now that the Blues have changed coaches we will see. But the Moroccan could give that unpredictability that is often lacking in that lane.
September 28 – 21:22
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