Back in fashion
AC Milan are back. Tied with fierce rivals Internazional on 18 Serie A titles behind Juvenuts on 33. Out in front as Italy’s most successful side in UEFA and FIFA competitons with 18 titles. Second only to Real Madrid in European Cup/Champions League titles. Three seasons without Champions League football represent the club’s longest spell away from the competition since the late 1980s before a dominant and legendary spell.
When Silvio Berlusconi sold his beloved club and fiefdom to Chinese investors, questions centred on whether Rossoneri Sport Investment Lux could bring back glory years as promised. €300m loan from a US private equity fund was the main source, and City rivals Inter appear to have richer investors in the Suning Holdings Group. The Milan giants will be among the biggest spenders this summer, but Vincenzo Montella’s Rossoneri have struck first.
Mateo Musacchio was the first to start the summer spree by moving from Villarreal for €18million (nigh on £16 million) until 30 June 2021. Ricardo Rodríguez might have had a torrid season at Wolfsburg but has a chance to rejuvenate what has mostly been a promising career away from a veritable mess in the Bundesliga by moving to Italy. He has signed a four-year deal that will reportedly cost Milan €17million (roughly £15 million).
Franck Kessié is a Rossoneri player albeit on a two-year loan deal and arrives from an Atalanta side that achieved a stunning fourth-placed finish. Only 20, Kessié scored six goals in 29 appearances to earn a move to the San Siro. What a debut season in Serie A for such an exciting player. AC Milan will have plenty of time to decide whether to buy him. However, the biggest signing so far must be André Silva. The 21-year-old has joined from FC Porto for an initial fee of €38 million (£33.6 million). The Potuguese international striker scored 21 goals last season and is a real talent.
Incredibly, there could be more. Europa League will not be an excuse for failing to secure a top four spot and automatic Champions League football for 2018/19 despite competition from Inter, Juventus, AS Roma, and Napoli. RB Leipzig right winger Emil Forsberg could be the next impressive signing to join AC Milan’s ranks. Plus, they’re keeping goalkeeping wonderkid Gianluigi Donnarumma. This is what a real statement of intent looks like.
Top six deals
Sead Kolašinac will be an Arsenal player after his Bosman move from Schalke 04 was confirmed to secure the 23-year-old Europa League football next season. He’s a good signing as Arsène Wenger bids to regain a place in the top four and launch a title challenge next season.
Victor Lindelöf is to join Manchester United for £31 million (€35 million). The deal for the composed centre back will be ratified pending international clearance, the agreement of personal terms and a medical, which will all presumably take place this week. Álvaro Morata is reportedly close to joining Lindelöf at Old Trafford after Morata’s agent suggested that the Europa League champions represent “a very interesting option” given that an “important proposal” is on offer.
Done deals and happenings
Serge Gnabry may not be good enough for Tony Pulis but certainly is for Bayern Munich. He signed a three-year deal to leave Werder Bremen for his bargain fee release clause (£6.8 million) but is rumoured to be spending the forthcoming season at Hoffenheim. Everton are getting ready for the inevitable sale of Romelu Lukaku by targeting Malaga and Ajax key men. Sandro Ramírez and Davy Klaassen could do worse in finding a decent club to experience Premier League football.
Diego Costa says that Chelsea will decide his future after Antonio Conte reportedly texted him to fuck off elsewhere. Conte probably had that text in his drafts since January, waited a couple of weeks after the season, and released a bit of textual healing to show Costa what’s what. Lukaku knows where he wants to go this summer, and with Chelsea technical director Michael Emenalo keen on bringing the Belgian international back to Stamford Bridge, the rest is inevitable.
Arsenal seem set on blocking Alexis Sánchez from a desired move to a Premier League rival. I wonder which team will benefit most from this development...
Fabio Capello is in the money (again) after joining Jiangsu as head coach. Beijing Guoan appoint Roger Schmidt as the club’s new head honcho to help him recover from being sacked by Bayer Leverkusen. Leverkusen, meanwhile, have appointed Heiko Herrlich as Schmidt’s successor. Here are ten things you can learn about him, but you won’t find out whether he’d be open to pretending to sell Julian Brandt to Liverpool.
Roman Abramovich helped his pal Leonid Slutsky get a job! Sltusky is the new Hull City head coach and has been brushing up on his English over the past five months. Continuing with the relegated head coach flavour to end the column, Garry Monk is the new Middlesbrough manager. Can both men get their clubs back into the Premier League at the first time of asking?
For those wondering or not, AS Roma and Crystal Palace still need to find new head coaches. Claude Puel seems to be on the brink at Southamtpon, and Thomas Tuchel has not yet found a new home after being sacked by Borussia Dortmund. Tuchel’s replacement, former Ajax head coach and 16/17 Europa League finalist Peter Bosz, may be one to watch.