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Christian Abbiati's career is over. Milan needs a new goalkeeper.
Christian Abbiati's career is over. He's 37 years old and, unlike Gianluigi Buffon, he has not reached that age gracefully.
Abbiati's save percentage is down 7.3 percent from last season (per NBC Sports) and simply isn't playing at the level that is needed for an elite team.
Milan fans have been aware of this shortcoming since at least the end of last season. The one-year deal Abbiati signed last year was always a stopgap until a younger (read: better) goalkeeper could be acquired.
There have been several situations posited since the beginning of the year. For a while Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes was considered an option by fans ever since he announced he would not be returning to Camp Nou next year. No reputable news reports ever talked of official interest, but he would have been an attractive option on a Bosman. However, his severe knee injury may kill off any possible traction that speculation may have ever had.
Mattia Perin would naturally be considered, but Milan may no longer have the financial wherewithal to make such a move—and Perin has, according to Goal.com, recently rejected the idea of a move to San Siro.
Literally almost anything is an upgrade over Abbiati, but where might there be an affordable option?
Milan may have cast their eyes to France, where Mexican international Guillermo Ochoa plays his trade for Ajaccio. His contract with the Ligue 1 side is up at the end of the year, and Goal.com quoted his agent, Jorge Berlenga, as saying that his client had "received an offer from Milan."
Ochoa has just been named to the Mexican World Cup roster and at 28 is in his prime. Goal.com refers to Ochoa as someone meant to "push" Abbiati, but what Milan needs to do is replace him, period. Seedorf needs to push for that to happen this summer. Another season with Abbiati in goal is unacceptable.