Allowing Roma to Sign Destro Without a Fight Is Milan's Big Mistake This Summer

Tim Fontenault@Tim_FontenaultCorrespondent IJuly 20, 2012

Milan missed out on a great player in Mattia Destro.
Milan missed out on a great player in Mattia Destro.Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

The story is known all over the football world by now. AC Milan have parted ways with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva in order to save some money with the UEFA Financial Fair Play regulations now in effect.

The goal is to replace the two players with younger players to build for the future and to also bring in a midfielder due to Sulley Muntari's knee injury which has him out until December.

Milan have been linked with several forwards to replace Ibrahimovic, but it doesn't seem like there is a plan to move for anyone at the time being and the favorite to join the side, Juventus forward Alessandro Matri, isn't an ideal fit in the squad.

There was a player on the market who could have proved a lethal strike partner for Alexandre Pato and Stephan El Shaarawy in the years to come.

Milan allowed AS Roma to work out a deal to obtain this player.

That player is Mattia Destro.

Destro, 20, had an incredible season for Siena, where he was playing as part of a co-ownership with Genoa. In 30 matches, he scored 12 times.

Italy's biggest clubs were ready to line up for him this summer, but it quickly became obvious that Milan and Roma were the favorites to ink the former Inter Milan player.

It was the expectation of many Milan fans that their club would try to acquire Destro if they could reach an agreement with Siena and Genoa, a club Milan have very good relations with during the transfer window lately.

Yahoo is reporting that Roma are close to signing the player and Adriano Galliani admits to picking up the phone when an official from Roma called Milan and saying that he had no problems with them signing the young star.

That is the dumbest thing Milan have done this summer.

The sales of Silva and Ibrahimovic were needed for the club to look to long-term success rather than looking to just win now and deal with the financial consequences later. Destro is a player who could have been brought in for less than 15 million euros and helped Milan dominate Serie A with a lethal attack.

Instead, they willingly allow him to join Roma who are building a decent looking squad, having just acquired American midfielder Michael Bradley, who is a player Milan should have been monitoring to help provide more depth. Roma missed out on European football this season but new owner Thomas DiBenedetto is keen on making them a force once again.

Why are Milan going to sit idly by while one of their rivals scoops up one of the hottest commodities on the Italian market?

Milan are now in a bind. Their most likely option at the moment is Alessandro Matri, who is very similar to a player Milan returned to Catania this summer after his boring loan spell, Maxi Lopez. Leandro Damiao is the best option of the still-linked forwards, but Milan may bite the bullet on that one. They've made no definitive moves on the player.

The window closes in over a month on August 31 so there is time and we have seen Milan make some big moves in the final week of the summer window each of the past couple seasons, but Mattia Destro is a big miss by the club.