It could prove to be a busy transfer window at the end of the season as Milan may need to replace a number of players in the current squad.
Uncertainty remains over the club’s structure from top to bottom in truth. After Zvonimir Boban’s exit, will Paolo Maldini follow? Who will come in to replace him if a change is made?
Further, will Stefano Pioli remain as coach next season if we fail to qualify for the Champions League and similarly if not, who will be his successor? And lastly, how will the make-up of the squad change as a result?
There are many questions that Milan face ahead of next season, and all that while we still have 12 games to play in the current campaign.
Five names emerge though when considering who is most likely to move on this summer.
As per the club’s official site, the veteran shot-stopper joined in January on a loan deal until June. Importantly though, there is no mention of an option to make it permanent.
In truth, there is no real need to keep him on. Both Pepe Reina and Alessandro Plizzari are set to return from their respective loan moves at the end of the season.
Whether it’s Reina being our starter between the posts if Gianluigi Donnarumma moves on or if Plizzari acts as understudy to Donnarumma if he stays, we appear to be well covered between the posts whatever the circumstances.
The crucial difference with the Dane in comparison to Begovic is that the club site notes that Milan have the option to turn his loan spell into a permanent switch.
The 31-year-old has applied himself well since arriving in January and offered a solid option next to Alessio Romagnoli before his injury. That said, he’s not getting any younger and while this slot could easily have gone to Mateo Musacchio instead, if the Argentine stays to offer depth and competition behind Matteo Gabbia along with Leo Duarte, we’re again well covered in that department and so the obvious decision would arguably be to cut Kjaer.
In a young squad lacking experience, Biglia had the ability and traits to be an important figure in this group. Perhaps he is behind the scenes, but instead as far as we’ve seen, he’s missed 10 games through injury this season and is arguably no longer a reliable cover option.
The Argentine stalwart turns 35 next year and even when he has featured, he often looks off the pace and unable to play the crucial role that he once used to be capable of playing. With his current contract set to expire this summer and with Ismael Bennacer flourishing in that deep-lying role, it’s time to move on and bring in an option who can help the Algerian international become an even more dominant figure.
It was arguably a slightly bizarre move in the first place to see the 20-year-old join us, but given it was so late in the transfer window in January, perhaps it was a low-risk gamble to fill a slot in the squad.
Time will tell if he gets an opportunity to show his worth if Serie A resumes amid the coronavirus crisis, as he has been limited to just 32 minutes of football since he arrived.
Ultimately, that’s not enough to make a fair judgment on him and whether or not he deserves a permanent move, but with the club official site noting that there is an option to sign him outright, on the basis of what we’ve seen thus far, he looks like an easily replaceable member of the squad.
This is undoubtedly the toughest pick of the bunch. The 30-year-old means a lot to many of us given his influence in recent years with 34 goals and 15 assists in 171 games, and he has the intelligence and quality to still play an important role if he can rediscover his best form.
Therein lies the problem though. Since April 2016, Bonaventura has missed 70 games due to injury and specifically two of those setbacks required surgery and were serious blows.
Those are going to take their toll on him as he heads to the wrong side of 30, and we’ve arguably seen the impact already as in truth, he’s not the same player he was before those injury troubles.
Having been forced into a bit-part role this season for the most part, if he is happy to accept that moving forward and is open to favourable personal terms for Milan by accepting a wage incumbent for a player of his age and place on the squad depth chart as his current deal is set to end, then by all means it would be great to see him stay.
If those key points aren’t met though, it may well be time to put sentiment aside and move on in trying to continue to add fresh legs.