Milan were taken over by Chinese investors in April which made a lot of football fans ask questions about whether these investors would invest heavily into the club, to make them one of Europe’s powerhouses once again.Well this summer has proven that Milan’s owners had exactly this in mind. With the early captures of: Mateo Mussachio (£15m), Franck Kessie (Loan, £6.8m) and 2014 World Cup star Ricardo Rodriguez (£15m.) Many Milan fans were very hopeful that they were investing more players to replace the dead weight and older players such as Ignacio Abate and Ricardo Montilivo.
However, I don’t think even they were expecting the transfers that were about to be made by the Rossoneri.
Firstly Milan had reached an agreement for long term target, Hakan Calhanoglu. The free kick specialist signed for £19m from Bayer Leverkusen after not having played for 4 months after being banned for breachng FIFA transfer regulations over his move to Hamburger SV.
Milan’s early signings (left to right: Franck Kessie, Hakan Calhanoglu, Ricardo Rodriguez & Mateo Mussachio)
Then, Gianluigi Donnarumma, a breakout star of the 16/17 season was supposedly declining a new contract after his agent, Mino Railoa, was creating problems for Milan and the money that was being demanded. This was sorted out relatively quickly after donnarumma had returned from the U21 European Championships. Alongside this deal Milan signed Gianluigi’s older brother, Antonio, from Greek side Asteras for £1m.
Milan’s Gianluigi Donnarumma signed a new contract after a wage dispute.
Following this heavy rumours started circuling that Milan had reached an agreement with Juventus and Italy center back Leonardo Bonucci. Milan fans on social media couldn’t and some even wouldn’t believe it. One of the best center backs in the world was on the verge of signing. Bonucci returned to training with Juventus however the next day he had’t reported in for training and videos quickly surfaced of him arriving at Milan’s training ground. In the end the deal went through for a reported £40m which in the current market is a bargain.
Leonardo Bonucci joining from Juventus after winng 6 Scudetti in a row.
Finally the day of this article, Milan have secured the signing of Lucas Biglia from Lazio who was a key part in Lazio’s cup run this season. But the bigger news is that they have supposedly agreed personal terms with highly rated young talent Andrea Belotti of Torino. Milan originally had a bid of £45m + Niang & Paletta rejected however, a new bid of £60m + Niang & Paletta was supposedly put forward with no news of Torino either rejecting or accepting. The signing of Andrea Belotti could prove key in Milan’s hopeful return to the Champions League with goals being something that has lacked for them for a very long time.
Andre Belotti scored 28 goals in all competitions last season and finished third best scorer in Serie A with 26.
What does all this spending mean for Milan’s rivals? To start lets look at Juventus, now looking to win a 7th league title in a row, they must surely be concerened about the amount of money Milan have spent especially compared to themselves who have only secured the signings of Douglas Costa and Rodrigo Bantancur this window.
As for the teams behind Juve like Napoli, Roma, Inter and Atalanta; these clubs now know that Milan are targeting a return to the champions league which means this season they’re really going to have to battle hard to keep up the standard that Milan’s new faces should be bringing in, especially as these clubs usually source players from various smaller leagues throughout Europe and Italy and also gamble on outcasts from other clubs.
Overall I think this Serie A season will be the most competitive season for some time but the real question is…Will Milan’s summer spending be enough to stop Juventus?