Milan Transfer News and Rumours Tracker: Week of August 25
The search has begun. AC Milan now face the difficult task of replacing 24-year-old Mario Balotelli.
Several names have come up: Jackson Martinez of Porto, Mattia Destro of Roma, Fred of Fluminense and Alvaro Negredo of Manchester City. The search ranges from the serious to the silly.
As expected, he will wear No. 45. He watched Liverpool's 3-1 loss to Manchester City from the stands on Monday evening, smiling with midfielder Adam Lallana.
In his first interview as a Liverpool player, Balotelli said, "Liverpool is a great team with young players, and that's why I came here."
There is only a week left until the transfer window shuts. President Silvio Berlusconi, CEO Adriano Galliani and coach Pippo Inzaghi have met several times, per Enrico Passarella of GianlucaDiMarzio.com, and they seem to know what they want. Inzaghi said Galliani "knows what I think."
Let's examine the options for this week.
Mattia Destro at the Top of the List
Roma's Mattia Destro is clearly one of Milan's top priorities. Galliani was already pictured talking with Walter Sabatini, Roma's sporting director.
Reports from Italia (h/t Football Italia) suggest that Roma want €25 million for the outright sale, while Milan want an initial loan with the option to buy Destro for a further €17 million.
Destro's agent confirmed the talks on Sunday, but Chelsea are also fighting for the 23-year-old.
"Jose Mourinho admires him, while Milan could make some important steps forward very soon,” agent Claudio Vigorelli told AlfredoPedulla.com (h/t Football Italia).
There is a fallback option. If Milan do not meet Roma's request, they could go for Chelsea's Fernando Torres, who is 30, or free agent Samuel Eto'o, who is 33.
From Passarella: "Gallaini will talk about it with Berlusconi to have the green light. Otherwise, they’ll go for Torres or Chicharito, while Eto’o is more distant because he’s close to Everton."
Destro scored 13 goals in 20 Serie A appearances last season, while Torres and Eto'o scored 14 goals combined for Chelsea in the last Premier League campaign.
Alessio Cerci on the Backburner
Milan were pursuing Alessio Cerci before selling Balotelli, so the 27-year-old right-winger was never going to be a direct replacement.
Now, Cerci is no longer that important.
La Gazzetta dello Sport reported on Monday (h/t Football Italia) that Cerci can wait. The priority is a striker, someone to fill the gap left by Balotelli.
The paper says Milan will return to Cerci "under certain conditions"—appropriately vague terms to describe an indecisive club in the transfer market.
But a rival paper reported something else. Milan could include Giampaolo Pazzini in a deal for Cerci, according to Tuttosport (h/t Football Italia). Milan attempted to squeeze youth product Simone Verdi into the offer last week.
Radamel Falcao an Unexpected Name
Corriere dello Sport dropped the bomb: Milan are chasing Radamel Falcao (h/t Daily Mail).
But Falcao scored yesterday in his first Ligue 1 match since recovering from an ACL tear, and the mood changed.
"Today's victory was an important one," he told Canal Plus (h/t David Amoyal of GianlucaDiMarzio.com), "especially since we were playing an excellent team like Nantes. The future? I hope to stay, I'm happy here."