AC Milan Transfer News: Riccardo Montolivo Is Target, May Cost Antonio Cassano

Tim Fontenault@Tim_FontenaultCorrespondent IJuly 15, 2011

Milan are targetting Fiorentina's want-away captain.
Milan are targetting Fiorentina's want-away captain.Claudio Villa/Getty Images

All summer, people around the world of football have been asking the same question of the Serie A champions AC Milan: "Who is Milan's Mr. X?"

What we do know of Mr. X is that he is a midfielder to replace Juventus-bound Andrea Pirlo in the midfield for the Rossoneri.

Many names have come up, with the most popular being Cesc Fabregas, Marek Hamsik, Gareth Bale, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Paulo Henrique Ganso, Kwadwo Asamoah and Javier Pastore.

Fiorentina captain Riccardo Montolivo has recently come into the mix.

The 26-year-old midfielder is falling out with La Viola recently as he makes clearer his intentions to leave the club this summer. The Italian international is labeled as one of the best midfielders in Serie A and on the Italian national team and wants to be playing with a bigger club.

Massimiliano Allegri has made known his desire to see Montolivo in red and black this season, but rumors from the Milanello have Milan's offer seen as too low by the Florence club.

It is believed that Fiorentina will only accept an offer that includes Milan forward Antonio Cassano. Cassano joined Milan in January after a fallout with former club Sampdoria. The move has seen an incredible change in attitude from the Italian who was looked on as a villain by many in Italian soccer before his arrival at the San Siro.

A move for Montolivo may cost Milan Cassano, but with Pato, Robinho, Ibrahimovic, Inzaghi, and Paloschi, would it be a major loss?
A move for Montolivo may cost Milan Cassano, but with Pato, Robinho, Ibrahimovic, Inzaghi, and Paloschi, would it be a major loss?Claudio Villa/Getty Images
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Cassano does not want to leave Milan, but may need to as he desires to be a regular first-team player. Italy manager Cesare Prandelli has told the 29-year-old that he needs to be playing regular first-team soccer if he wants a spot on the national team.

It is a vital time for the Azzurri. They lead Group C of UEFA Euro 2012 Qualifying by five points with matches against the Faroe Islands, Slovenia, Serbia and Northern Ireland remaining before the finals kick off in Poland and Ukraine next summer.

Another way Milan could land Montolivo is if Alberto Aquilani makes a move to Florence. The Liverpool player's name has come up recently and a move to the Franchi would surely spell the end of Montolivo at the club.

This is a player Milan need to grab. Montolivo is a great midfielder and at only 26, provides a great investment for the champions. Montolivo has been told by Fiorentina to inform them in the coming days where he wants to be playing next season so we may know his fate very shortly.

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