Top options assessed as AC Milan set for crucial midfield overhaul

Countless names continue to be linked with Milan with the summer transfer window upon us, but ultimately all that will matter is those who arrive.

It’s no secret where the Rossoneri must strengthen, as there is an evident lack of quality and depth in midfield which must be the main priority.

SEE MORE: How AC Milan could line up under Marco Giampaolo next season

Given the exits of Ignazio Abate and Cristian Zapata, as well as Mattia Caldara remaining sidelined through injury for the early part of the campaign, the defence is another area in which we should be looking for reinforcements.

However, the bulk of the speculation revolves around possible midfield signings, and ultimately it’s whittling down to a handful of names who could provide the solutions that coach Marco Giampaolo is looking for.

It’s important to note firstly that multiple signings will be needed. Riccardo Montolivo, Jose Mauri and Andrea Bertolacci are all gone, and while they may not have played a great deal last season, the fact is that is depth and cover out the door.

Further, Tiemoue Bakayoko’s loan spell is done and given his important role last year, that is a void that will need to be filled. The question though, is who will provide those solutions?

Dani Ceballos

There is little doubt that the 22-year-old is highly talented, and as his frustration over an inability to secure a prominent role at Real Madrid looks set to continue next season, it’s understandable why an exit is being so heavily touted.

The Spaniard’s technical quality, vision, passing ability and creativity would be a welcome boost for Milan, but realistically, is it a deal that will materialise? As per Calciomercato, he has a €50m price-tag while it’s added Tottenham are also interested. That alone would suggest that it’s going to be a very difficult deal to conclude, unless Madrid are willing to discuss a compromise on the formula of the move.

Jordan Veretout

As noted by, it’s a two-horse race for the Frenchman as he will decide between Milan and Roma this summer after impressing for Fiorentina last season.

For some he may well be considered an underwhelming signing, but the 26-year-old is arguably an ideal fit for the style of play Giampaolo will look to implement next season given his technical quality and passing as well as his energy and tenacity to press quickly off the ball too.

With five goals and four assists in 37 appearances last season, he may not be the most extravagant of additions, but he could certainly be an efficient one as Giampaolo looks to stamp his mark and identity on his side.

Daniele De Rossi

The cons of a swoop for the former Roma stalwart are obvious. Not only does he turn 36 next month, but he was injury prone last season and with Lucas Biglia already in the squad, is it really necessary to add another veteran in midfield?

Calciomercato report that De Rossi could be a transfer target, and while the negatives of such a move are legitimate, there are also pros too. The veteran midfielder offers experience, leadership and determination to any squad he’s part of, and while he may not be in his prime, given the number of players exiting Milan this summer, there could be worse options to provide quality depth.

If there are better options out there who offer more immediate guarantees, they should be the priority. However, if we want to compete across a gruelling campaign, having a voice like De Rossi’s in the changing room might not be the most terrible idea in the world as long as the financial aspect of any deal is right for us.

Lucas Torreira

The main target this summer. Giampaolo knows what Torreira can offer from their time together at Sampdoria, and the tenacious Uruguayan rose to prominence and showed his quality as a key figure under his stewardship.

As per Gianluca Di Marzio, a two-year loan deal worth €5m with an obligation to buy for €30m is on the table from Milan, and so it remains to be seen if it’s enough to convince Arsenal to sell the 23-year-old just 12 months after his arrival at the Emirates.

Speculation has suggested that Torreira is keen on a return to Italy, and so couple that with his history with Giampaolo and Milan’s need for a midfielder with his characteristics in front of the defence, he is arguably the one to focus our attention on in the coming weeks as the main midfield reinforcement with one of Veretout or Praet to join him.

Dennis Praet

In the event that Ceballos becomes an unlikely option and should Veretout opt for Roma, Giampaolo could switch the focus to another familiar face and secure a reunion with his former Sampdoria midfielder, as noted by MilanNews.

The 25-year-old would operate in a similar role in the midfield three, helping to implement the Milan coach’s brand of football and if we’re looking for things to click into place as quickly as possible, giving Giampaolo his trusted lieutenants could be a smart idea.

Similarly, it’s not the marquee name that every fan would love to see arrive. However, with FFP concerns never far away, this summer is about building a squad that plays with an identity, direction and purpose. Giampaolo has a clear way of playing, and if it’s widely considered underwhelming signings that will help him implement that next season, then so be it as long as the fruits of his labour arrive.