It’s still been less than a month since Milan wrapped up last season with a win over Cagliari, but given the quick turnaround, the players will soon report back for pre-season training.
The Rossoneri are scheduled to head back to Milanello to begin preparations for the new campaign on August 24, with the Europa League qualifying rounds commencing on September 17 with the following ties to be played on September 24 and October 1 if we progress.
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In turn, there is not a lot of time left to secure important bits of business, and ultimately that starts with sorting in-house issues revolving around contract renewals for key individuals.
Renewals for key trio priority, signings needed too…
Zlatan Ibrahimovic rejoined us in January, but as per the club’s official site, there is an option in that deal to extend his stay for another season, which as of yet hasn’t been agreed.
The 38-year-old emphatically proved that he can still deliver at this level last season, and so it’s imperative we secure a deal to bring him back for another year and importantly, ensure that he’s part of the process throughout pre-season and isn’t simply a late addition and thus arrives off the pace.
That’s the top priority given the more immediate threat of losing him, while both Gianluigi Donnarumma and Hakan Calhanoglu will see their respective contracts expire next summer.
The pair were integral to our progress last season, for Calhanoglu particularly after the restart as he took his tallies to 11 goals and nine assists in 38 appearances, while Donnarumma was decisive all season long with his brilliance between the posts.
Milan must avoid a scenario in which the new season starts with uncertainty and distraction for the duo over their futures, and so along with Ibrahimovic’s contract situation, it’s vital that the club get those tasks ticked off with the next seven days an important period given the lead up to the resumption of training.
It seems unlikely agreements and announcements will come imminently, but progress and an understanding that new deals are in place would certainly be a welcome development.
With signings still expected and further plans needed to be put in place for Pioli and the squad once the Europa League qualifiers get underway, there is a lot to do at the club and there isn’t that much time to do it in.
The transfer window runs from September 1 to October 5 this year so that can seemingly wait for a while, but ultimately it’s crucial that Milan make progress this week in discussions with Ibrahimovic, Donnarumma and Calhanoglu, and others for that matter, to ensure that we have the core group locked down and can then fully focus on reinforcements for the rest of the summer heading into the new campaign.