Serdar Tasci is the latest name to be mentioned as the replacement for recently-departed defender Thiago Silva. His representative has recently stated that the Stuttgart defender had dreamed of playing Milan as a child and could see his dreams come to fruition with a move to the San Siro this summer.
At 25 years of age, Tasci has many good years ahead of him and would be a likely starter should Milan capitalize on their interest in the player. He was named captain of Stuttgart this past season, a testament to his leadership abilities which is something Milan could use in their back line with both Alessandro Nesta and Thiago Silva having left the club this summer.
He's been capped 14 times for Germany since 2008 after electing to play for his country of birth over the homeland of his parents, Turkey. Standing at 6'1", he has the tendency to lose out in aerial duels against opposing strikers, but Tasci more than makes up for it with his tactical ability shown by his 2.4 interceptions per game.
To put that in perspective, that's 0.1 interceptions per game less than Mats Hummels, who's hailed as arguably the Bundesliga's best central defender. He also blocks more shots per game than Hummels, however, does not possess Hummel's phenomenal tackling ability.
Another intriguing facet of Tasci is his passing ability. He has a 87.8 pass completion percentage (statistics courtesy of whoscored.com) which is over 10 percent higher than his aforementioned compatriot Mats Hummels, and over seven percent higher than Kyriakos Papadopoulos, another central defender linked to the Rossoneri.
In fact, the only two center backs who had a higher pass completion percentage than Tasci were Holger Badstuber, starter for both Bayern Munich and Germany, and Dante, the Brazilian center back who recently earned a big money move to Bayern Munich after having a sensational season for Borussia Monchengladbach.
Of Milan's transfer targets, who would you like to see replace Thiago Silva?
Compared to fellow Milan target Kyriakos Papadopoulos, Tasci loses out in tackles per game and interceptions per game but commits one foul per game as opposed to Papadopoulos's 2.5 fouls per game.
This has led to Papadopoulos being cautioned nine times and ejected once, whilst Tasci tallied four cautions and zero ejections. Being booked certainly impacts the way a defender plays and Papadopoulos's penchant for hard tackling puts him in these scenarios quite often.
Tasci is a very composed defender and has scored eight goals in 151 appearances for Stuttgart, including some from the run of play. He seems to be an affordable option, available for around 12 million euros, and Milan would do well to jump at this opportunity as clubs such as Tottenham, Manchester City and even Spanish powerhouse Barcelona have been said to be circling.
Stuttgart seem powerless to prevent Tasci from leaving if Milan's bid is to their liking, as negotiating terms with the player don't seem as though they would present a problem.
While the interest in Kyriakos Papadopoulos has been mostly generated from speculation around the player, Vasco da Gama revealing a 28 million euro release clause for their prized center back and Porto being the infamously difficult negotiators they've proven themselves to be, one could see Tasci supplant Papadopoulos, Dede and Rolando as Milan's most realistic replacement for Silva.
Galliani finds himself in the position to acquire a starting center back for a very reasonable fee and should jump at the chance.