Paolo Maldini Confirms AC Milan's Interest in Cesc Fabregas, Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistDecember 3, 2018

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 24:  Paolo Maldini arrives on the Green Carpet ahead of The Best FIFA Football Awards at Royal Festival Hall on September 24, 2018 in London, England.  (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)
Dan Istitene/Getty Images

AC Milan icon and director Paolo Maldini has said the club have "ideas" for the January transfer window amid continued links to Los Angeles Galaxy forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas.

After another busy summer in the transfer market and a strong start to the season, Milan sit in fourth spot in Serie A and appear well equipped to compete for a UEFA Champions League spot. 

Speaking to Sky Sport Italia (h/t Football Italia), Maldini said the club will look to consolidate that position with some January acquisitions and mentioned the reports linking the club with Ibrahimovic and Fabregas.

"Fabregas and Ibra? We have ideas," he said. "We want to do everything so we can [to] finish in the top four and we'll try to make signings, but we're happy with this team regardless. Even those whose contracts are expiring are showing great professionalism."

Ibrahimovic has been linked with a return to Milan for a second spell, and he recently told Vanity Fair (h/t Chris Burton of Goal) that "it's no secret that Milan like me."

Meanwhile, according to Corriere dello Sport (h/t Sport Witness), Milan are looking at signing Fabregas in January. The 31-year-old has fallen down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge in recent years, and his contract with the London club is set to expire at the end of the campaign.

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Even if they didn't make any midseason signings, Milan fans would feel positive about the team's chances of finishing in a top-four spot, as they've performed well so far this season under manager Gennaro Gattuso.

Matteo Bonetti of ESPN commented on how well the team did to pick up a 2-1 win against Parma despite a number of injury issues: 

With the January market now edging closer into view, those injuries may prompt Milan into more activity, and there's a sense that a couple of smart moves in the window may propel this team forwards.

Ibrahimovic would not only be an effective signing, but also a romantic one. The mercurial Swede is a popular man at the San Siro having shone for Milan in two years at the club between 2010 and 2012, scoring 56 goals in all competitions and helping the team to the title in 2010-11.

While he may now be 37, he's been able to make an impact in Major League Soccer:

Fabregas' stock may have also fallen at Chelsea, but he too has shown he can perform to a high standard when given chances this season, especially in the UEFA Europa League for the Blues.

However, the man himself has said a transfer before the end of the campaign is unlikely:

Players with that kind of experience would be useful for Gattuso as he plots a charge towards next season's Champions League.

Still, so far this term, some young players have emerged when given opportunities at the San Siro. Franck Kessie and Patrick Cutrone, who each netted in the win over Parma, have taken big steps forward in 2018-19.