With under a week to go until the transfer window deadline, Milan may still have several deals to conclude but speculation would suggest the majority of those could be outgoings.
The Rossoneri are finally in a good moment in terms of our form, as Friday night’s win over Brescia made it four consecutive wins across all competitions and five unbeaten.
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It’s been a positive response since that embarrassing defeat to Atalanta before Christmas, and with Torino at home in the Coppa Italia followed by a visit from Verona next Sunday, it’s hoped that Stefano Pioli and the players can extend this winning streak.
However, the Milan squad could begin to look a little different before that Verona game, as speculation would lead to us believe that several high-profile exits could be in the pipeline.
As reported by MilanNews.it, Krzysztof Piatek, Suso, Lucas Paqueta and Ricardo Rodriguez are all being linked with a departure before the deadline, so would it be sensible planning or a huge risk from the Milan hierarchy to adopt such a transfer strategy by seemingly overseeing a mini revolution in the squad.
The 24-year-old arrived last January off the back of a prolific spell with Genoa, and after scoring 11 goals in 21 games for us in the second half of the campaign, he was tipped to be our next talisman up front.
How things change over the course of 12 months, as fast forward to this January, and he’s being linked with an exit which would have been unthinkable last summer.
The numbers aren’t good. Five goals in 19 games is a bitterly disappointing return as Piatek hasn’t been anywhere near his best. That said, as he showed in the win over SPAL, give him the right service and play to his strengths, and he will put the chances away.
Sadly, it sounds as though if an appropriate bid is made he’ll be on his way out, as per the MilanNews report above. They also note that an offer of at least €30m could green light a move, and this is one that we may well live to regret in the long run.
The jig may well be up for the Spaniard, as after emerging as our chief creative spark between 2016 and last year, he has failed to perform to an acceptable standard this season.
With just one goal and two assists in 17 outings, that is nowhere near the level of influence we need from a player with his importance in the side, and if we’re to move forward and compete at the highest level, it surely will only happen without such responsibility on his shoulders.
Jeered by some of the Milan faithful in recent games and with his confidence at an all-time low, it could simply be the end of the road for all concerned and a split might be the best solution, especially with results and the likes of Samu Castillejo improving since he was dropped.
MilanNews suggest the club are ready to let him leave, although it would take between €20m-€25m to convince us to sell. At this point, it’s probably wise to take what we can get before his valuation falls further.
Given our glittering history with Brazilian players, the fanfare was significant when Paqueta joined us last January as there were big hopes for what he could do at Milan.
The early signs were promising as although he wasn’t decisive in the final third, he showed an ability to adapt to Italian football and fit within Gennaro Gattuso’s system and tactics instantly.
However, things simply haven’t improved since. He’s managed just one goal and three assists in 32 appearances, and now finds himself out of the XI under Pioli.
Similarly to Piatek, it’s such a shame to think how things have deteriorated over the last 12 months given how much excitement there was surrounding the pair last January. Further, this is a difficult one to call as either you accept Paqueta isn’t going to make that jump to the next level, or you show faith and believe that he will come good and avoid pulling the plug too soon.
As per the MilanNews report, Milan want over €30m so as to avoid making a loss on him. That’s a decent amount of money that could go towards our own reinforcements if he has no place in the side moving forward, but again, it would be a shame to see him leave so soon.
This is undoubtedly the easiest decision to make of all four and with MilanNews suggesting an eventual €5m exit to Fenerbahce could be agreed next week, Milan need to get this over the line as soon as possible.
The 27-year-old served his purpose when he arrived in 2017, as he added a sense of solidity and reliability at left-back, which has been a problematic position for us in recent years.
However, then came the limitations and frustrations with his game, as he never really looked confident enough to grab this opportunity and take his game to the top.
Add the arrival of Theo Hernandez last summer and his emergence as one of our important players this season having made the left-back position his own, it makes no sense to keep an experienced yet costly stalwart like Rodriguez on the wage bill.
In turn, if Milan can secure an exit for the Swiss international in the coming days, then this should be the next deal that they conclude.