With just over a month remaining of the summer transfer window, Milan arguably still have a lot of work to do to be ready for the season ahead.
The window closes for Serie A sides on September 2, as per BBC Sport, after which the Rossoneri will have to wait until January if they believe further reinforcements or changes are needed.
Rade Krunic and Theo Hernandez have been officially unveiled, while Pianeta Milan reported that Ismael Bennacer signed his contract earlier this week but will likely join up with the squad at a later date having been given an extended break after impressing at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Those are three important signings in their own right, and as we’ve seen from Hernandez prior to his injury on Tuesday, the signs are positive in terms of the management and coach Marco Giampaolo building a squad capable of playing his style of football and competing this season.
That being said, there are still key issues to be sorted, and that transfer deadline will come round quickly.
New Donnarumma contract
A month ago it seemed inevitable that Gianluigi Donnarumma would leave, with Gianluca Di Marzio reporting that Paris Saint-Germain were willing to offer a player-plus-cash exchange deal involving Alphonse Areola.
Fortunately, that awful idea has fizzled out of fashion over time, and now according to Calciomercato, the expectation is that Donnarumma will remain with us this season.
However, with his current contract set to expire in 2021, a new deal needs to be agreed upon and done before the season starts to avoid it becoming an issue again with more important matters at hand.
Ideally, that’s with a view of him remaining Milan’s first-choice goalkeeper for years to come, but should we eventually have to sell, it strengthens our position on the market and we can demand more than the €50m valuation touted by CM above.
Decision in defence
Currently, Giampaolo only has Alessio Romagnoli and Mateo Musacchio as his two senior options in central defence as we await Mattia Caldara’s return from injury.
That is of course nowhere near enough depth, and La Gazzetta dello Sport note that Juventus defender Merih Demiral remains the priority and that Milan are willing to wait until the end of the window to get their man.
Could Giampaolo have another solution though? Matteo Gabbia impressed in the pre-season friendly against Bayern, and while he has had a solid summer at international level too, one decent performance in pre-season isn’t enough to fully convince he’s the man for the job. If he were to continue to stake his claim in the upcoming outings though, perhaps he’ll give Giampaolo something to seriously consider.
As per Calciomercato, Roma eventually beat us to the Frenchman’s signature, but having pursued him for what felt like an eternity only to be left disappointed, the expectation is that we’ll identify an alternative to improve our midfield.
Much will surely also depend on outgoings too as with Krunic and Bennacer added to the mix, we’ve got Hakan Calhanoglu, Giacomo Bonaventura, Lucas Biglia and Franck Kessie also at Giampaolo’s disposal currently.
Nevertheless, MilanNews note that Dennis Praet could re-emerge as an option to seal a reunion with his former Sampdoria coach, and so it can’t be ruled out that another midfielder will be signed.
Silva & Cutrone out, Correa and who in?
Perhaps the biggest revolution between now and the transfer deadline will come up front. One thing that is certain is that Krzysztof Piatek is going nowhere and will lead the line this season.
However, as noted by Sky Sport Italia, Angel Correa is expected to join from Atletico Madrid, while Patrick Cutrone and Andre Silva are being linked with exits.
Should both leave, there will be a glaring lack of quality depth up top, and so Milan will need to sign another striker. It could be argued that Cutrone is the perfect player to provide competition and a lift off the bench, but if he’s not happy with that role, then the Rossoneri will need to consider alternatives and use the funds generated to bring in Correa and one more forward.
Speculation has been rife over a number of players leaving this summer, with Suso perhaps the most talked about of them all. However, there are other decisions that must be made.
With Hernandez expected to be first-choice left-back, one or perhaps two of Ricardo Rodriguez, Diego Laxalt and Ivan Strinic will surely be considered expendable. After the Croatian filled in against Bayern in a central role, can he be a versatile option worth keeping?
Elsewhere, after he struggled earlier in the week and with no real clear idea of where he fits into Giampaolo’s 4-3-1-2 system, Samu Castillejo could be another to be sacrificed. Things could still change in midfield and Milan may well have a surprise or two up their sleeve with potential targets in the weeks ahead, but there is certainly enough to suggest that we’re nowhere near done this summer.