Why AC Milan Should Move for QPR's Julio Cesar This Summer

Colin O'Brien@@ColliOBrienContributor IMay 7, 2013

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND - MARCH 21:  Julio Cesar of Brazil celebrates the goal of team mates during the international friendly match between Italy and Brazil on March 21, 2013 in Geneva, Switzerland.  (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)
Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

Julio Cesar is 33, part of the woeful QPR side which has been relegated from the EPL and is considered a legend at his former club, Inter Milan. Not exactly an obvious candidate for the goalkeeper's gloves at AC Milan, then. But the Brazilian could still find his way to the red half of the San Siro, as Max Allegri's side look to improve squad depth during the summer. 

The Rossoneri are one of Serie A's most promising prospects for the coming seasons, but weaknesses remain and chief among them is perhaps the No. 1 jersey. Marco Amelia is 31 and though still a useful keeper, isn't the kind of reliable stopper that a team like Milan needs. He's played 10 Serie A games this season and only kept one clean sheet.

Christian Abbiati will be 36 this summer. He is the club captain but no longer a dependable, long-term option. Despite being at Milan since 1998, Abbiati has never developed into the world beater some thought he could become, and during Carlo Ancelotti's successful tenure on the bench he was forced to play backup most of the time to the Brazilian, Dida, who had originally been brought in as support for the man whose place he took. 

His understudy, Gabriel Vasconcelos Ferreira, is just 20 years old, and silver medal at the London Olympics aside, hardly experienced enough for the pressures of being first choice at a club like Milan. He has been capped by Brazil, but Gabriel remains very much a prospect player. 

The former Inter keeper, then, could step in and fill the gap. Cesar has been relegated with QPR, and as that side's first-choice keeper must accept some culpability. But in truth, it's a squad full of over-paid, under-motivated stars, ill-matched and ill-managed. The Brazilian still has much to offer between the sticks.

Cesar's form dropped dramatically after Jose Mourinho's departure from the San Siro. At the time, most simply viewed it as evidence of the player's age and decline. But in the context of events since his departure from Serie A, it's possible that his performances were judged too harshly. 

With the exception of Javier Zanetti, none of Cesar's former teammates have performed consistently to a high level since the Champions League success. The slump is a widespread problem at the club, and it's likely that the goalie was simply just the first and most obvious example of decline. 

A stint at the other end of the San Siro isn't going to be popular with fans of the Nerazzurri, but the two clubs have a history of swapping players. Ronaldo, Andrea Pirlo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are just three of many examples. Even their stadium is named after one, Giuseppe Meazza. 

If Milan could secure the Brazilian on a short-term contract, they would be getting a dependable, experienced goalkeeper with a firm grasp of Serie A and enough local knowledge to be sure that he would settle in quickly.

And with a shuffle expected at the back, it would be one part of next year's defensive puzzle that Allegri could almost certainly rely on. The Rossoneri have played good football this term, but they've leaked goals at the back, conceding almost twice as many as champions Juventus. If they're to challenge next season, this is a hole that must be plugged. 

It makes sense for the player, too. The opportunity to escape QPR and return to Serie A would be too good to refuse for Cesar. Italy is where he enjoyed the most success and where he made his name as one of the game's top shot stoppers.

Ahead of next summer's World Cup in his homeland, no one could blame him for wanting to turn back the clock to his glory days and make sure he stays a part of Luiz Felipe Scolari's plans.