Before Milan start to think of potential signings this summer, contract renewals and exits will arguably be the first port of call to get ourselves in a position to go after our top targets.
The foundations were put in place for the new campaign with our form to end the season just gone, but it’s imperative that Stefano Pioli and the management make sensible choices from this point onwards to ensure we build on that momentum and kick on.
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While speculation will undoubtedly link us with a whole host of names moving forward, which players could possibly leave in the coming weeks to help create both space in the squad and transfer funds to go out and sign those targets? Rade Krunic and Lucas Paqueta could be options given their limited impact this past season, but there are arguably more obvious choices.
One of the veteran goalkeepers
Pepe Reina will return from his loan spell at Aston Villa this summer, while we still have Antonio Donnarumma and Asmir Begovic on the books, albeit Milan noted on the club’s site in January how the latter was merely on a short-team deal.
With Gianluigi Donnarumma expected to continue as our first-choice option between the posts, we don’t need three back-up options on the sidelines filling the squad and on the wage bill.
In turn, if Reina leaves then perhaps Begovic stays and vice versa, while the older Donnarumma sibling will perhaps remain as a third-choice shot-stopper in the pecking order to ensure we still have enough cover if needed.
Milan moved on in the left-back position this season as Theo Hernandez has cemented his place as the leading figure in that department for the foreseeable future if he can stay fit, avoid injuries and maintain his impressive form.
Diego Laxalt is a solid enough Plan B to fill in when necessary, while Rodriguez spent the past season out on loan at PSV Eindhoven.
It’s clear that we’ve moved on from the Swiss international as he doesn’t fit the style of play and identity of this new Milan under Pioli as it requires a relentless level of energy and pressing coupled with explosive runs forward which he hasn’t shown he’s capable of offering, and so it’s arguably the smart move to sell him if the opportunity arises.
Andrea Conti or Davide Calabria
Neither have been able to fully convince at right-back as they have shared runs in the starting XI over the course of the campaign and have had their setbacks along the way.
As noted by La Gazzetta dello Sport, a new right-back is said to be a priority for Milan this summer as we need the right balance and similar quality to that which Hernandez offers on the opposite flank.
One of Conti or Calabria can surely stay to offer depth and competition, but if we do sign another player for that position, it seems illogical to keep both and have three players competing for the same spot.
As per Calciomercato, Laxalt, Rodriguez and Calabria could bring in around €30m if they were all to leave, and coupled with getting their wages off the books, it would be an important part of our plans to strengthen.
After Simon Kjaer’s arrival in January and having now joined on a permanent basis coupled with Matteo Gabbia’s emergence this past season while Leo Duarte is still involved as he tries to prove his worth, Musacchio is arguably the odd one out moving forward.
Further, the 29-year-old’s current contract expires in 2021, and so if he doesn’t get assurances over his future and isn’t part of Pioli’s plans moving forward, axing him this summer to avoid losing him for nothing next year would undoubtedly be the smart play from the Rossoneri.
Kjaer has been a fundamental part of our resurgence and along with Gabbia, they could battle it out to partner Alessio Romagnoli in the heart of the backline. One could even rotate with the Milan captain or step in when he’s absent as Gabbia did in the last three games of the season, while Duarte still gives us another option if we decide not to bring in reinforcements.