Lots will shake down in Serie A over the next 24 hours. We’ll learn, for example, whether AC Milan will go into the summer looking to strengthen for a twin assault on the Scudetto and Champions League or merely reload in an attempt to get back into the top three.
Lazio, meanwhile, will either end what has been a topsy-turvy campaign with a Europa League spot or conclude the schedule out of the European places altogether.
And both sides, although they’ll be separated by more than 200 miles on the Italian top flight’s final matchday, will be monitoring how the other is getting along. One of the summer’s potentially key transfers could well hinge on the two results.
Since making an €11 million move to Rome following an impressive spell at Sao Paulo, the 27-year-old has helped return Lazio to consistent European contention, initially turning a 12th-place side into one that finished joint-fourth in his first season at the club.
That was followed a year ago with sole possession of fourth, although this time around the Biancocelesti will require a win against Cagliari in Trieste combined with an Udinese loss at Inter in order to finish fifth and qualify for another term of Europa League football.
Milan, who will complete their fixture list at Siena, can book their Champions League spot with a win or, should they lose or draw against the relegated Bianconeri, with a Fiorentina defeat away to Pescara.
And should results go their way, the Rossoneri could well realize their long-rumoured dream of acquiring Hernanes before the start of preseason training.
It was just last summer that Milan were reported to be in hot pursuit of the Brazil international, although in October, the player told Sky Italia, via Goal, he hadn’t once been contacted by the San Siro club.
But with Hernanes about to go into the second-to-last year of his contract with Lazio, his agent, Joseph Lee, has been actively drumming up interest in his client, refusing last month to rule out a move to Manchester City, per the Metro.
Still, it’s Milan who fancy him most of all, and it’s at Milan that he could best put his talents to use.
A versatile playmaker who prefers to operate in an advanced role through the middle but can also drift out to his left, it would seem Hernanes might have to spar with Kevin-Prince Boateng for regular minutes. But with the Ghanaian so frequently injured and often wildly inconsistent, it wouldn’t take much for the Pernambuco-born midfielder to cement a starting spot in Massimiliano Allegri’s lineup.
And if Allegri persists in a 4-3-3 arrangement anyway, Hernanes would be the ideal distributor to sit right in centre of the Milan midfield, with the likes of Antonio Nocerino and Riccardo Montolivo on either side.
This season Hernanes has completed nearly 85 percent of his passes while playing 2.7 accurate through balls per match, according to WhoScored.com.
Those are the sort of numbers Milan could not only turn into goals more frequently than Lazio, but also help improve upon as well.