AC Milan Transfer News and Rumours Tracker: Week of July 21
Mario Balotelli has already spent some time in New York City with his fiancee, and he is supposed to meet his AC Milan teammates there tomorrow as they prepare for their USA tour. On the surface, he looks like he's going nowhere.
But all the while he is the subject of transfer rumours and denials and more reports. It's a tiring cycle of news that will not stop until the end of August.
Milan themselves have been looking for a player worth their money. The list of targets began with Juan Iturbe (now a Roma player); Real Sociedad winger Antoine Griezmann (according to the Mirror); Torino's Alessio Cerci, who, according to Tuttosport (h/t Football Italia), prefers Inter to Milan; and most recently PSG's Ezequiel Lavezzi, a name discussed by Milan's directors and coaches, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport (h/t Football Italia).
It all looks like a game of fantasy. Whether Milan would actually spend close to €20 million on any one of those players is a good question.
Let's take a look at the latest round of silliness in the press.
Lavezzi Back to Serie A?
PSG already spent some €62 million on defender David Luiz, and this is a club that is supposed to curb its wage bill and limit losses in 2014 to €20 million (according to The Guardian) after breaking Financial Fair Play rules. So it's a tough swamp to negotiate.
Lavezzi, though, is still a player whom Milan reportedly admire, but they would have to spend some money. Lavezzi could cost at least €18 million, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport, and Milan would have to assume his €4 million wages.
GdS estimates that Milan would have to pay at least €18m to sign Lavezzi as well as pay the player an annual salary of €4m.— AC Milan News (@Milanello) July 21, 2014
The Rossoneri already have former PSG man Jeremy Menez as a potential right-winger, and similarly Lavezzi can play on both flanks. The move for the 29-year-old Argentinian appears too steep for Milan, but other options like Cerci could cost just as much.
Too Many Rumours About Balotelli
There is too much talk about Balotelli. The website CaughtOffside.com initially reported that Arsenal were preparing to bid £15.8 million for Balotelli and offer him £160,000 per week (per the Mirror). Then Milan's CEO came out and said that the club had not received any offers and that there is "nothing" from Arsenal, per Sky Sports.
Then Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger told reporters (h/t Football Italia) that he does not want any more strikers. "Up front we don't need any more. It's not especially for numbers," Wenger said. "We need a goalkeeper for sure and, after that, it depends on how our midfielders get through without injuries until the start of the season.
"Maybe at centre-back we'll still bring one in."
More recently, Italian paper Corriere della Sera (h/t Football Italia) ran a report suggesting that Arsenal indeed plan to make a bid "imminently."
Meanwhile, former Italy coach Cesare Prandelli, who had invested a lot of trust in Balotelli over the past four years, said of his former pupil:
Prandelli: "Balotelli is a good guy. He isn't a bad person, but he lives in his own universe, which is far away from reality."— AC Milan News (@Milanello) July 21, 2014
All we know is that Balotelli is in the USA right now. He is slated to play for Milan against Olympiacos on Thursday in Toronto.
Robinho Situation Close to Resolved
Orlando City owner Flavio Augusta da Silva told Radio Bandeirantes (h/t Goal.com) that they have not yet bought the 30-year-old Robinho but "we believe he will be a great reinforcement for our team."
Robinho renewed his contract with Milan last year, and it runs until 2016. So unlike Kaka, who opted out of his contract with Milan earlier this summer, Robinho is a player Orlando would have to buy. But like Kaka, Robinho could move on loan to a Brazilian club before joining Orlando for their inaugural MLS season in 2015.
That's why negotiations are tougher. Galliani, Barbara Berlusconi and new coach Pippo Inzaghi met on Sunday and discussed Robinho, and according to La Gazzetta dello Sport (h/t Football Italia), Galliani is trying to persuade Robinho to lower his wage demands in order to facilitate the move.