Premier League Could Be Premier Target This Winter: AC Milan Eye Zabaleta, Bale

Tim FontenaultCorrespondent ISeptember 22, 2010

Zabaleta is a main target for Milan this summer to strengthen the defense.
Zabaleta is a main target for Milan this summer to strengthen the defense.Michael Regan/Getty Images

AC Milan are prepared to improve their options at fullback this winter as reports are linking the Italian club to Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta, according to

The Rossoneri have struggled on defense this season and are looking for a reliable option at the right fullback position.

Zabaleta, 25 years old, has fallen out of favor at Eastlands with the additions of Jerome Boateng and Micah Richards and could be tempted by a move to Italy.

The Argentine provides flexibility, for he can be used in either a fullback or defensive midfielder position.

Zabaleta is not Milan's only defensive target out of the Premier League.

Milan are ready to go to war in the bidding process during the winter as they target Zabaleta as well as Fulham center back Brede Hangeland and Tottenham fullback and winger Gareth Bale.

Hangeland, 29 years old, could be a welcomed addition to the middle of the defense and could split time with Alessandro Nesta.

Bale, 21 years old, is one of the most desired players in the world at the moment. Clubs from all over are preparing bids for his services.

The Welshman could be a wonderful pickup, as he can play either fullback or winger, much like Luca Antonini. Bale prefers the left side, which means that Antonini could switch to the right.

The acquisition of both Zabaleta and Bale would be fantastic for AC Milan. As I just mentioned, Antonini could move to the left to provide a more known and comfortable position for Bale. Bale is also known for the occasional run up the field to find the net. He is always active on the attack, much like Antonini. If Milan had two fullbacks of this style of play to aid the three-headed attack of Ronaldinho, Pato, and Ibrahimovic, there is no telling how dangerous Milan could be.

With the fullback positions manned with two talented young stars, Zabaleta could take up a role at defensive midfield behind Andrea Pirlo and Kevin-Prince Boateng.

Milan have two problems in the defense and midfield: age and they get caught out. I have been arguing recently that Milan will need both a fullback and a defensive midfielder this winter.

Zabaleta and Bale provide the perfect moves for the club. Assuming they stay in the title race throughout the first half of the season, their additions could put Milan over the hump and make them truly the most dangerous team in Italy and could even put them in position for a run at European glory.