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AC Milan Transfer Talk: Four Defensive Players That Milan Need to Target

Tim FontenaultCorrespondent IJanuary 10, 2013

AC Milan Transfer Talk: Four Defensive Players That Milan Need to Target

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    So far in the transfer window, AC Milan's only moves have been the sale of Alexandre Pato, failed negotiations with Robinho and the signing of Empoli midfielder Riccardo Saponara (via ESPN).

    Other than that, there has been nothing but rumors.

    Milan need to do something, however. The club has stated its desire to build a team around youth and long-term success as opposed to short-term, much like the plan in 2010-11.

    With the development of youth stars like Mattia De Sciglio and Bryan Cristante and the signing of players like Stephan El Shaarawy and M'Baye Niang, Milan have started down the path towards a youth revolution.

    After Milan's Coppa Italia loss to Juventus, it became obvious that defense is an issue that needs to be addressed soon.

    Milan thought that bringing in center back Francesco Acerbi this past summer would help the club's defensive woes, but the problems have only worsened. There is no other word to use for Acerbi besides bad.

    In fact, if not for Acerbi, Milan could have actually come out on top in Wednesday's clash with Juventus, but both the goal in the first half and the one in extra time were the result of poor defending from Acerbi, as well as Philippe Mexes.

    Defense is a major hole, and while Milan need to look at other positions, they have the young players like El Shaarawy, Niang and Cristante to fill those attacking spots.

    Here is a look at the defensive-minded players that Milan need to target.

Mattia Perin, Goalkeeper, Pescara (on Loan from Genoa)

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    This could be a high-risk, high-reward situation for Milan.

    Obviously, it is always a risk to take a chance on a 20-year-old goalkeeper when goalkeepers produce such long careers and often do not stand out until their late 20s.

    But Perin is a very talented goalkeeper and proven in Serie A to this point. Looking at Pescara's spot in the standings alone may turn one off to Perin, but he does not have the most overwhelming defense in front of him.

    Milan have an excellent relationship with Genoa, so there is reason to think they can make a deal work.

    There is a goalkeeper issue at Milan: Marco Amelia and Christian Abbiati have both been inconsistent and Milan's only other option, Gabriel, has only been working with the reserves and sitting on the first team bench since his arrival in the summer.

    With Perin, you get a young, lively keeper who has experience now as a starter in Serie A, and anyone who saw his 15-save performance against title-contenders Fiorentina knows he has the stuff to succeed.

Davide Santon, Left-Back, Newcastle

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    In two seasons in England, Santon has become a key member of the Magpies, having played in 21 Premier League games so far this season.

    However, the former Inter Milan man may find a return to the San Siro and his home country to his desire.

    The 22-year-old has the makings of a top full-back, and at Milan where left-back has been a serious issue since the departure of Marek Jankulovski (to give you an idea of how long the issues have been present), having a young, proven, experienced Italian back in the team would be beneficial.

    With Santon, a former winger, on the left and Mattia De Sciglio on the right, Milan could be a dangerous team moving down the flanks from the back.

Vlad Chiriches, Center Back, Steaua Bucharest

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    Chiriches is not a household name, but he has made an impression across Europe.

    Milan, Lyon and Barcelona have all, at one time or another, been rumored to be interested in the Romanian. For a team with a defense as woeful as Milan's at the moment, the more defensive help you can get, the better.

    The 23-year-old is bound to move and with a price tag set at €10 million, Milan could have a chance at grabbing him.

Angelo Ogbonna, Center Back, Torino

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    Despite being one of the highest-rated young center backs in recent memory, Ogbonna has remained with Torino.

    The club have been keen to hold onto the young Italian, but Milan need to tempt them with an offer because defense is a desperate need for the club right now.

    He is under contract until 2016 and currently out of action until February, but Ogbonna is going to be a star.

    Currently Milan's only options at center back are Mario Yepes, Philippe Mexes, Francesco Acerbi and Daniele Bonera. In fact, Milan even experimented with Mattia De Sciglio at center back last weekend. It would be preferable to see them keep him at right back.

    If Milan can get Ogbonna, the defense is going to be that much better.

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