While the wait goes on for the Serie A season to potentially resume, Milan edge ever closer to having to make key decisions on the futures of a number of key first-team players.
At this stage, it’s unclear what failure to secure Champions League qualification will mean for the current set up. Will Stefano Pioli stay on? After Zvonimir Boban’s departure, will Paolo Maldini follow?
Those are the more prominent questions that need to be answered initially, after which the squad can begin to take shape again perhaps under a new coach.
However, through a combination of expiring deals and loan stints, there are five decisions that the Milan management know that they have to reach a decision on in the coming month or so, and it revolves around the quintet below.
As noted by the club’s official site, the 38-year-old re-joined us in January on a deal until the end of the season, with an option to extend for a further 12 months.
Since his return, the Swede has bagged four goals and an assist in 10 appearances, and barring some glaring missed opportunities which he should have put away to add to his tally, he’s shown enough to suggest that there’s still plenty left in the tank.
While his frustration needs to be controlled at times and channelled in the right way to improve those around him, his leadership and experience have been crucial on and off the pitch. From teammates lauding his guidance to him visibly offering advice to players on the pitch, the positives outweigh the negatives thus far.
If both parties can settle on personal terms, then Milan should extend Ibrahimovic’s stay as we’re also lacking in quality and depth up front too.
As one of the more impactful and popular figures in the Milan squad in recent years, it’s hard to leave sentiment out of the equation when discussing ‘Jack’.
The 30-year-old has 34 goals and 24 assists in 171 games for the club, and if it weren’t for serious injury setbacks, those figures would undoubtedly be a lot higher.
Even amongst the current options in the squad, few of our attacking players can match the intelligence and quality that Bonaventura is capable of displaying in the final third. While the finish hasn’t always been there, he consistently finds himself in dangerous positions and finds space between the lines.
His current contract expires this summer though, and so if the numbers don’t work as he prepares to turn 31 later this year and has perhaps enjoyed his best years, it might be time to bid farewell. That said, it would be great to see us reach an agreement with him as he can still offer something to the squad.
Time up. The 34-year-old arrived in 2017 as part of our squad rebuild to add experience and some proven quality to the side. While he showed it at times, it’s difficult to remember too many games in which Biglia stood out for positive reasons.
He’s featured just seven times this season which follows on from 19 appearances last year as injuries have also been a problem for the ageing Argentine stalwart.
With games seemingly bypassing him all too often and as Ismael Bennacer continues to emerge as our leader in midfield, there is little to no sense in renewing Biglia’s contract.
As per the club’s site, the Dane joined on loan for the season in January and there is an option to make his move permanent.
Limited? Yes. His lack of pace and mobility, especially combined with Alessio Romagnoli who isn’t the quickest himself, leaves us susceptible to being caught out in behind, and at 31, he’s not a long-term solution to start in the heart of our backline.
However, with Calciomercato casting doubt over Mateo Musacchio’s future with us, Kjaer could come in to fill that void if the Argentine leaves and would be a solid, experienced back-up option if Milan are serious about giving Matteo Gabbia a chance while Leo Duarte will hope to get back into the picture too.
The shot-stopper’s future essentially hinges on what happens with Gianluigi Donnarumma and Pepe Reina. If there is a reshuffle in the goalkeeper department, Begovic could find himself staying on to act as experienced cover with his loan spell set to end in June.
If Donnarumma leaves, the expectation would be that Reina would step into that breach and be promoted to first-choice. If Donnarumma stays and Reina isn’t content as a back-up option, perhaps Begovic can take his place in the pecking order.
Alessandro Plizzari will return from his loan spell at the end of the season, and so Milan could have their hierarchy between the posts taking shape for both the short term and long term depending on how this summer plays out.